Spinal hemangioblastoma: surgical procedures, outcomes and review of the literature

Acta Neurol Belg. 2021 Aug;121(4):973-981. doi: 10.1007/s13760-020-01420-4. Epub 2020 Jul 7.


Purpose: total removal of spinal hemangioblastomas with satisfactory clinical outcomes remains a challenge. We aimed to evaluate the surgical outcomes of our spinal hemangioblastomas patients, summarize our experiences with this condition and review-related literature.

Methods: records of 18 spinal hemangioblastoma patients who underwent microsurgical resection were analyzed retrospectively. Clinical features, surgical procedures and outcomes were reviewed to assess the prognosis of their spinal hemangioblastomas. The McCormick classification method was used to evaluate spinal function and MR scans used to assess location and features of the tumor pre-surgically, tumor recurrence and syringomyelia status post-surgically.

Results: total resection of 37 tumors was achieved in all 18 cases. Of those patients, two (11%) were accompanied with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL). Of the 37 tumors, 3 (8.1%) were completely intramedullary, 16 (43.2%) intramedullary-extramedullary and 18 (48.6%) primarily extramedullary. Tumors accompanied with syringomyelia were present in 17 (94.4%) patients. Clinical symptoms such as pain were reduced within 48 h after surgery in 16 patients. Post-operative neurological functions improved in all cases at 3 months post-surgery. Over the subsequent 3-18 month follow-up period, pre-operative symptoms improved in all 18 patients and no tumor recurrence was present. Syringomyelia was reduced or absent within 3-6 months.

Conclusions: our results indicated that a complete microscopic resection was effective in eliminating symptoms in these spinal hemangioblastoma patients, who showed a good prognosis after surgery. These improvements in clinical symptoms may be associated with the blood flow changes, but not with reductions and/or eliminations of syrinx after surgery.

Keywords: Microsurgery; Spinal cord compression; Spinal cord neoplasms; Syringomyelia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemangioblastoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hemangioblastoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult