Cavernous angiomas of the spinal cord

J Neurosurg. 1988 Jan;68(1):31-6. doi: 10.3171/jns.1988.68.1.0031.


Five cases of histologically verified cavernous angiomas of the spinal cord are reported. Acute lower-extremity sensory disturbance was the initial symptom in four patients, and one presented with weakness of the hand. Progressive neurological deficit occurred in all patients, but the clinical course and outcome were extremely variable. Myelography revealed an intramedullary lesion in two cases but was completely normal in three; magnetic resonance imaging was diagnostic in these patients. Subtotal removal was accomplished in two cases, and myelotomy and biopsy were carried out in three. Four of the cavernous angiomas were located in the cervicothoracic region, whereas one was found in the thoracolumbar cord. All of the patients exhibited characteristic gross and microscopic features as well as hemosiderin-laden macrophages indicating remote hemorrhage. The diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic implications of this rare condition are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / pathology
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / surgery*