Clinical and radiological presentation of spinal epidural haemangiomas: clinical series in a tertiary care centre during a 10-year period

Eur Spine J. 2014 Feb;23(2):404-10. doi: 10.1007/s00586-013-3045-5. Epub 2013 Oct 6.


Purpose: Haemangiomas are very frequent benign spinal tumours. However, pure epidural location is extremely rare. At present, only 52 cases have been reported in the literature during the last 10 years. We proposed to analyse clinical and radiological features of this rare entity treated in a tertiary care centre over the last 10 years.

Methods: A study of a retrospective surgical series (2002-2012) was conducted. The clinic's electronic database was searched for "spinal" and/or "vertebral haemangiomas", which were treated by surgery and/or vertebroplasty. Clinical, radiological and histopathological data were analysed.

Results: In total, the series comprised 30 spinal haemangiomas. There were 6 epidural (20 %), 17 vertebral (57 %) and 7 intradural lesions (23 %). There were four men and two women, mean age 28.3 years, with epidural lesions. One patient presented with localised back pain only, two with radiculopathy and focal neurological deficit, two with radiculopathy only and one with isolated focal neurological deficit, respectively. The onset of symptoms was progressive in four cases over weeks to months and sudden in two cases. Preoperative MRI imaging revealed features of meningioma, neurinoma or metastasis.

Conclusion: Epidural haemangiomas are extremely rare spinal lesions. They may mimic more common spinal tumours clinically and radiologically. The usual treatment is gross total resection confirming the diagnosis histologically.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Epidural Space / diagnostic imaging
  • Epidural Space / pathology*
  • Epidural Space / surgery
  • Female
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis*
  • Hemangioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Hemangioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Spine / pathology*
  • Spine / surgery
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Young Adult