Metastatic intracranial chordoma in a child with massive pulmonary tumor emboli

Manon Auger, Beverly Raney, David Callender, Patricia Eifel, Nelson G. Ordóñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A 27-month-old boy of Hispanic background developed multiple cranial nerve palsies, difficulty swallowing, bloody nasal discharge, and irritability. Radiographic evaluations showed extensive destruction of the clivus by a large tumor that invaded the sphenoid bone, left cavernous sinus, ethmoid sinus, nasal cavity, and left orbit. Multiple pulmonary nodules were also noted. The bone marrow and spinal fluid showed no evident tumor cells. Transnasal biopsy revealed a chordoma. Treatment was initiated with a combination of ifosfamide, mesna, and etoposide along with radiation therapy to the cranial tumor. Shifting pulmonary densities were noted on serial films. Despite some clinical improvement, the child developed rapidly progressive hypoxemia 3 weeks after admission and died. Autopsy showed persistent viable tumor in the primary site and massive pulmonary arteriolar tumor emboli, infarcts, and widespread lung parenchymal metastases. No other sites of tumor involvement were discovered. This is the second child reported with intracranial chordoma, pulmonary metastases at diagnosis, and early death attributed to pulmonary tumor emboli..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-770
Number of pages8
JournalFetal and Pediatric Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Metastatic chordoma
  • Pulmonary tumor emboli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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