Preoperative embolization of brain and spinal hemangioblastomas

Neurosurgery. 1993 Sep;33(3):502-5; discussion 505. doi: 10.1227/00006123-199309000-00022.


Large hemangioblastomas can be difficult to resect because of excessive bleeding. We report our experience with two patients whose large hemangioblastomas were embolized preoperatively and were totally resected with minimal blood loss and satisfactory postoperative outcome. Embolizations were carried out within 3 days of surgery, with the patient under general anesthesia, with 150- to 250-microns Contour emboli. A 65-year-old woman with progressive, severe myelopathy from a 4.5 x 2.1 x 1.4 cm intramedullary hemangioblastoma at T4 underwent embolization of the left T2 and T3 intercostal arteries; a 29-year-old man with Lindau's syndrome and posterior fossa hemorrhage from a 3.8 x 1.8 x 1.8 cm right cerebellar hemangioblastoma underwent embolization of the right posterior inferior cerebellar artery, two right anterior inferior cerebellar arteries, and a dural branch of the right vertebral artery. Embolization led to the complete obliteration of the tumoral blush without neurological sequelae. Both lesions were completely resected with a blood loss of 50 to 100 ml, with bleeding occurring mainly from the pseudocapsule of the lesion. Preoperative embolization of hemangioblastomas is a useful and relatively safe procedure that reduces blood loss at the time of surgery and allows complete resection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemangioblastoma / diagnosis
  • Hemangioblastoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Preoperative Care
  • Reoperation
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / surgery*