Quantification of Vertebral Involvement in Metastatic Spinal Disease

Ricardo Vieira Botelho*, Matheus Fernandes de Oliveira, Jose Marcus Rotta
Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual de São Paulo, IAMSPE, São Paulo, Brazil

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© Botelho et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Av. Dr. Altino Arantes 390, apto 81, Vila Clementino, São Paulo, São Paulo, 04042002, Brazil; Tel: +5511-981118157; Fax: +5511-45738379; E-mail:



For patients with a solitary and well-delimitated spinal metastasis that resides inside the vertebral body, without vertebral canal invasion, and who are in good general health with a long life expectancy, en bloc spondylectomy/total vertebrectomy combined with the use of primary stabilizing instrumentation has been advocated. However, clinical experience suggests that these qualifying conditions occur very rarely.


The purpose of this paper is to quantify the distribution of vertebral involvement in spinal metastases and determine the frequency with which patients can be considered candidates for radical surgery (en bloc spondylectomy).


Consecutive patients were classified accordingly to Enneking’s and Tomita’s schemes for grading vertebral involvement of metastases.


Fifty-one (51) consecutive patients were evaluated. Eighty-three percent of patients presented with the involvement of multiple vertebral levels and/or spinal canal invasion.


Because of diffuse vertebral involvement of metastases, no patients in this sample were considered to be candidates for radical spondylectomy of vertebral metastasis.

Keywords: : Cancer, neoplasm metastasis, prognosis, spine, spondylectomy, surgical procedures.