OBJECTIVE: The spinal cord tumors(including vertebral tumors) are increasingly diagnosed and operated due to development of refined diagnostic and therapeutic tools. It is necessary to re-evaluate clinical features and surgical results of spinal cord tumors with increasing cases and developing treatment modalities. The authors reviewed the spinal cord tumor cases to evaluate their clinical characteristics. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The retrospective review of 654 cases of spinal cord tumors between 1973 and 1999 was done. The clinical features, pathological analysis and surgical results were analyzed and compared to the literature. The results of the study are analyzed with a more detailed consideration of each of major pathologies: neurogenic tumors, meningeal tumors, neuroepithelial tumors, and metastatic tumors. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The spinal cord tumor was most common in the 5th decade of age(145 cases, 22.1%) and 78 cases(11.9%) were found in children under 15 years of age. The ratio of male to female was 1.2:1. The pathologic diagnosis was neurogenic tumor in 266 cases(40.7%), neuroepithelial tumor in 131(20.0%), metastatic tumor in 118(18.0%), and meningeal tumor in 94(14.4%) in the order of frequency. The tumor was located most frequently in the thoracic area(36.5%) and in the intradural extramedullary space(38.1%). The most common initial presentation was pain(40.1%) and the mean duration for presentation to operation was 14.8 months. The total or gross total removal was possible in 404 cases(61.7%) and the surgical result on the postoperative one month was recovery or improvement in 424 cases(64.8%), stationary in 188(28.7%), progression in 42(6.4%). As a surgical complication, there was a spinal deformity(12 cases), wound infection(5 cases), aspiration pneumonia(5 cases) etc. Neurogenic tumors and menigiomas showed good surgical results, whereas neuroepithelial tumors(except ependymoma) and metastatic tumors showed relatively poor prognosis.