Embolization of Large and Giant Posterior Fossa Hemangioblastomas: The Experience of a Single Tertiary Care Center

Megan M.J. Bauman, Samantha M. Bouchal, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Harry Cloft, Waleed Brinjikji, Maria Peris Celda, Michael J. Link, Ian F. Parney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Hemangioblastomas pose an inherent surgical risk due to the potential for high intraoperative blood loss, especially in larger tumors. One approach to minimize this risk is to use preoperative embolization. Herein, we present our institutional experience treating large and giant cerebellar hemangioblastomas. Methods We performed a retrospective chart review of 19 patients with cerebellar hemangioblastomas that had a maximal diameter of >3 cm. We performed a literature review and included individual patient-level data that met our >3 cm diameter cerebellar hemangioblastoma inclusion criteria. Results Our cohort consisted of 19 patients that received a total of 20 resections for their cerebellar hemangioblastomas. Preoperative embolization was utilized in eight cases (38.1%). One patient experienced transient neurological complications after embolization (12.5%). Tumors of patients in the embolization group had larger median total, solid, and cystic volumes and were more likely to involve the cerebellopontine angle than those in the non-embolized group. Compared with non-embolized patients, embolized patients had less decrease in their hemoglobin, lower volumes of estimated blood loss, reduced rates of postoperative complications and permanent deficits, and greater instances of neurological improvement. The larger cohort (obtained from the combining our cohort with patients identified during a literature review) consisted of 99 patients with 39 receiving preoperative embolization. Conclusion It is important to examine individual patient characteristics when determining eligibility for preoperative embolization. However, improvements in endovascular techniques have made preoperative embolization a safe and effective procedure with minimal risks that can be performed in many patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-608
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 15 2022


  • cerebellar
  • embolization
  • hemangioblastoma
  • posterior fossa
  • surgical outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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