Background and aim: The authors present a retrospective analysis of 14 patients treated for spinal cord hemangioblastoma (SCH). This study was conducted to evaluate and compare the difference of functional outcomes associated with the extent of surgical removal of the tumor.
Methods: Eleven patients were male and three were female, with a mean age of 37.2 years (19-62 years). Pre- and postoperative magnetic resonance imaging was performed in all cases. Preoperative angiography was performed in 11 cases and preoperative embolization in four. The follow-up period ranged from 15 to 161 months (median, 47 months).
Results: Thirteen patients had intramedullary tumor, and the remaining one had an extradural lesion. All patients underwent surgical removal, and total removal (TR) was achieved in 10 cases. In four patients with preoperative embolization, intraoperative bleeding was minimal and TR was possible. In three of four patients without TR, their functional outcomes were aggravated postoperatively. At the last follow-up (15-161 months), eight patients were improved, three were stationary, and three deteriorated. All patients who showed improvements underwent TR. The statistical analysis showed that TR produced a significantly better outcome than incomplete removal (p = 0.015).
Conclusion: TR resulted in a better outcome for SCH. Preoperative embolization could be effective in the reduction of intraoperative bleeding and facilitate TR with an improved surgical outcome.