Case Report
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. Feb 26, 2021; 9(6): 1490-1498
Published online Feb 26, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i6.1490
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor with multisegmental spinal metastases as first presentation: A case report and review of the literature
Yan Kong, Xiao-Wei Ma, Qian-Qian Zhang, Yi Zhao, He-Lin Feng
Yan Kong, Department of Medical Oncology, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang 050011, Hebei Province, China
Xiao-Wei Ma, Yi Zhao, He-Lin Feng, Department of Orthopedics, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang 050011, Hebei Province, China
Qian-Qian Zhang, Department of Gynecology, Hebei Medical University Second Affiliated Hospital, Shijiazhuang 050000, Hebei Province, China
Author contributions: Kong Y, Ma XW, and Zhao Y contributed to data collection, literature review, and manuscript writing; Zhang QQ analyzed the data from the patient; Zhao Y and Feng HL were responsible for the treatment and management of the patient; all authors were involved in writing the manuscript and read and approved the final manuscript.
Informed consent statement: Informed written consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this report and any accompanying images.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to report.
CARE Checklist (2016) statement: The authors have read the CARE Checklist (2016), and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the CARE Checklist (2016).
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: He-Lin Feng, MD, Professor, Department of Orthopedics, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, No. 12 Health Road, Chang'an District, Shijiazhuang 050011, Hebei Province, China.
Received: November 23, 2020
Peer-review started: November 23, 2020
First decision: November 29, 2020
Revised: December 13, 2020
Accepted: December 28, 2020
Article in press: December 28, 2020
Published online: February 26, 2021

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) usually originates in the stomach, followed by the small intestine, rectum, and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. The most common sites of metastasis are the liver and peritoneum, whereas spinal metastases from GIST are extremely rare.


We found a case of GIST with the first presentation of multilevel spinal metastases involving the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. A 61-year-old Chinese man presented to our clinic because of pain in his lower back and hip for 10 d without cause. Subsequently, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed abnormal signals in the vertebral appendages of T12 and L4 accompanied by spinal canal stenosis, which was considered as tumor metastasis. As there were no metastases to vital organs, posterior thoracic and lumbar spinal decompression + adnexal mass resection + pedicle internal fixation was adopted to achieve local cure and prevent nerve compression. The results of histopathological studies were consistent with the metastasis of GIST. No local recurrence or new metastases were found at the 6-mo follow-up at the surgical site. The patient has no neurological symptoms at present. It is worth mentioning that a rectal mass was found and surgically removed 1 mo after the patient was discharged from hospital, and the pathological diagnosis of the mass was GIST.


By reviewing 26 previously reported cases of spinal metastasis in GIST, it was found that spinal metastasis of GIST has become more common in recent years, so the possibility of early spinal metastasis should be recognized. CT and MRI are of great value in the diagnosis of spinal metastatic tumors, and pathological biopsy is the gold standard for the diagnosis of metastatic tumors. It is safe and feasible to treat isolated spinal metastasis in GIST by excising metastatic masses, decompressing the spinal canal, and stabilizing the spine.

Keywords: Spinal metastasectomy, Gastrointestinal stromal tumor, Multisegmental spinal metastases, Magnetic resonance imaging, Case report

Core Tip: Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is the most common mesenchymal tumor in the digestive tract and originates from Cajal stromal cells or related stem cells. GIST metastasis usually occurs in the liver (28%), mesentery and omentum (30%), and less often in the lungs (7%), subcutaneous tissue (4.7%), and lymph nodes (4.7%), whereas GIST bone metastasis is very rare (only 0.47%). We report a case of GIST in a 61-year-old man with multisegmental spinal metastasis as the first presentation and review the literature. As far as we know, this is the first report of a GIST with the first presentation of multisegmental spinal metastases from the thoracolumbar spine. This case highlights the importance of resection of metastatic tumors of the spine as an effective treatment for GIST.