Hypertrophic olivary degeneration following surgical excision of brainstem cavernous hemangioma: a case report

Clin Imaging. Jul-Aug 1999;23(4):215-7. doi: 10.1016/s0899-7071(99)00147-3.


Hypertrophic olivary degeneration (HOD) is a rare type of neuronal degeneration involving the dento-rubo-olivary pathway. It is distinguished from other types of neuronal degeneration in that hypertrophy, rather than atrophy, takes place in the neurons in the inferior olivary nucleus. Prior to the invention of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), HOD was difficult to be detected, and a firm diagnosis could only be made at autopsy. We present a case of bilateral HOD following surgical excision of a cavernous hemangioma in the brainstem. The literature and imaging findings of this uncommon condition are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Brain Diseases / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / complications
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnosis
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / etiology
  • Hypertrophy / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Myoclonus / etiology
  • Olivary Nucleus / pathology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods