Introduction: Surgical treatment of tumors, particularly metastases to the spine, has become
increasingly common owing to the progress in anesthesiology and spinal surgery and greater detectability.
The patients qualified for surgeries are those with mechanical pain, fracture or at risk of
vertebral fracture or neurological complications. The basis for qualification for different types of surgeries
is clinical and imaging examination, particularly MRI and CT. Qualification should always be
multidisciplinary and requires understanding and knowledge of its most essential aspects. When carrying
out imaging examinations, it is necessary to assess the size and the type of the tumor, taking into
account of differential diagnosis. One should also consider the factors indicating spinal instability or the onset of neurological
deficits. The criteria developed by Kostiuk-Weinstain and Taneichi are used for that purpose.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the correspondence between the most essential elements of clinical and MRI
examination of the spine and the intraoperative status of patients with spinal tumors.
Materials and Methods: We carried out prospective examination assessing the correspondence between the clinical status
and MR images and the intraoperative spine. We introduced algorithm to describe the morphology of neoplastic lesions
within the spine.
Results: The information obtained from the clinical examination and the intraoperative status of the spine corresponded
with the MRI examination with the exception of the assessment of neoplastic infiltration to soft tissues, dura mater and
nerve roots. It was also found that there are no clear-cut MRI features allowing differentiation of metastatic lesions from
primary tumors and osteitis. Furthermore, MRI examination does not allow for the assessment of the quality of bone tissue
in the vicinity of the tumor.