Hemangioma of spinal nerve root

Federico Roncaroli, Bernd W. Scheithauer, William E. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Object. Hemangiomas of the spinal nerve roots are rare. Only 12 cases have been reported in the literature, all since 1965. These lesions occurred in adults, primarily in males, and were located in the cauda equina. Of the 12 lesions, eight were cavernous hemangiomas. The authors report here the clinicopathological features of 10 cases of hemangioma of the spinal nerve root, nine of which were of the capillary type. Methods. The group included six men and four women who ranged in age from 40 to 62 years. The majority of patients presented with pain and weakness. One patient also experienced worsening of pain during menses. In all cases, gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography myelography demonstrated a discrete intraspinal extramedullary mass. Administration of contrast agent resulted in uniform, intense enhancement. A gross-total resection was achieved in all but one case; in most cases, it was necessary to sacrifice the parent nerve root. Preoperative symptoms and signs improved in nine cases. On histological examination, all but one tumor, a spindle-cell hemangioendothelioma, were shown to be ordinary capillary hemangiomas. Two lesions exhibited a cavernous component, and five showed a partly solid growth pattern resembling juvenile capillary hemangioma. In all cases, the relationship with the nerve root was histologically confirmed. The tumor- nerve relation varied. The intact nerve was displaced by the epineurial mass in three cases. The fascicles appeared separated in six cases, and individual nerve fibers were seen throughout one lesion with endoneurial involvement. Conclusions. Hemangiomas of spinal nerve roots pose a challenging diagnostic problem. Knowledge of their existence is relevant in that they may mimic tumors and are amenable to surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Hemangioendothelioma
  • Hemangioma
  • Spinal nerve root

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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