Traumatic rupture of thoracic epidural capillary hemangioma resulting in acute neurologic deficit: illustrative case

J Neurosurg Case Lessons. 2021 Nov 22;2(21):CASE21309. doi: 10.3171/CASE21309.


Background: Thoracic epidural capillary hemangioma is exceedingly rare, with only a few reported cases. The typical presentation usually includes chronic, progressive symptoms of spinal cord compression in middle-aged adults. To the authors' knowledge, this case is the first report in the literature of acute traumatic capillary hemangioma rupture.

Observations: A 22-year-old male presented with worsening lower extremity weakness and paresthesias after a fall onto his spine. Imaging showed no evidence of spinal fracture but revealed an expanding hematoma over 24 hours. Removal of the lesion demonstrated a ruptured capillary hemangioma.

Lessons: This unique case highlights a rare occurrence of traumatic rupture of a previously unknown asymptomatic thoracic capillary hemangioma in a young adult.

Keywords: AP = anteroposterior; MRI = magnetic resonance imaging; hemangioma; laminectomy; thoracic spine; trauma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports