Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2011 - Volume 6 - Issue 4 > Vertebral Collapse Caused by Bone Metastasis
Journal of Thoracic Oncology:
doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31820c2f47
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Vertebral Collapse Caused by Bone Metastasis

Berwouts, Dieter*; Remery, Mark MD†; Van Den Berghe, Thomas MD‡

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*Department of Radiotherapy, Ghent University Hospital; †Department of Gastro-Enterology, Digestive Oncology, AZ Oudenaarde; and ‡Department of Radiology, AZ Oudenaarde, Belgium.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address for correspondence: Dieter Berwouts, Department of Radiotherapy, Ghent University Hospital, De pintelaan 185 Ghent, Belgium. E-mail:

A 70-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis was hospitalized with diarrhea, fever 38.3°C, and severe midthoracic back pain for 1 week. The patient was paraplegic with complete paralysis and loss of sensation in both legs and lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a hypernephroma of the right kidney in 1997, for which a nephrectomy was performed. She refused further follow-up.

On computed tomography scan, invasion of several thoracic vertebrae (Th 4, Th 5, Th 6, and partial Th 7) was seen with a 90° angulation of the proximal dorsal pillar compared with the distal pillar (Figure 1A and B). An extraaxial posterior extension was observed. The lesion was biopsied, performed under echographic control, showing a well-differentiated renal cell metastasis. The bone fragments, anterior of the vertebrae, are believed to be parts of the adjacent ribs (Figure 1B).

Figure 1
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Intravenous morphine was administered to help her cope with the pain. The patient died 10 days after computed tomography scan images were taken.

© 2011International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer


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