Spinal extradural angiolipomas: 7 new cases and review of the literature

Neurologia (Engl Ed). 2019 Mar;34(2):98-104. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2016.11.002. Epub 2017 Jan 9.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: We present our experience with the diagnosis and treatment of spinal angiolipomas (SAL).

Methods: We used our database of surgical patients to gather epidemiological, clinical, diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up data from confirmed cases of SAL. Patients' functional status was evaluated using the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) score for thoracic myelopathy.

Results: We included 7 patients with ages ranging between 42 and 63 years; 4 were women. Lesions in all patients were located in the thoracic epidural space; in 2 cases, lesions extended outside the spinal canal. The most frequent form of presentation was pain combined with progressive myelopathy; patients scored 5 to 9 points on the mJOA scale. Radiological findings varied; this variability clearly depended on the proportion of tumour components (cellular variant in one case, predominantly angiomatous in another, and myxoid in yet another case). Four cases displayed radiological signs of bone involvement. Surgery resulted in excellent mJOA scores except in one case (mJOA score of 10); no recurrences were detected during follow-up (periods ranging from 1 to 5 years).

Conclusions: Extradural SAL can present with highly variable radiological and clinical features. Surgery must be tailored to each individual situation according to tumour extension; in some cases, it may include spinal reconstruction. Surgery results in excellent outcomes regardless of preoperative functional status and it is associated with low recurrence rates, even in case of incomplete resection.

Keywords: Angiolipoma; Columna vertebral; Epidural; Extradural; Spinal cord; Tumor; Tumour.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiolipoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Angiolipoma / epidemiology
  • Angiolipoma / pathology
  • Angiolipoma / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Spinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spinal Neoplasms / therapy*