ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Metastatic Epidural Spinal Cord Compression and Recurrent Spinal Metastasis Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Spinal Cord Compression
  • Spinal Neoplasms


  • Metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) is an oncologic emergency and if left untreated, permanent paralysis will ensue. The treatment of MESCC is governed by disease, patient, and treatment factors. Patient's preferences and goals of care are to be weighed into the treatment plan. Ideally, a patient with MESCC is evaluated by an interdisciplinary team promptly to determine the urgency of the clinical scenario. Treatment recommendations must take into consideration the risk-benefit profiles of surgical intervention and radiotherapy for the particular individual's circumstance, including neurologic status, performance status, extent of epidural disease, stability of the spine, extra-spinal disease status, and life expectancy. In patients with high spinal instability neoplastic score (SINS) or retropulsion of bone fragments in the spinal canal, surgical intervention should be strongly considered. The rate of development of motor deficits from spinal cord compression may be a prognostic factor for ultimate functional outcome, and should be taken into account when a treatment recommendation is made. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed every three years by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and review include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of a well-established consensus methodology (modified Delphi) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures by the panel. In those instances where evidence is lacking or not definitive, expert opinion may be used to recommend imaging or treatment.

publication date

  • January 2015



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/jpm.2015.28999.sml

PubMed ID

  • 25974663

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 573

end page

  • 84


  • 18


  • 7