Aggressive vertebral hemangioma

Aggressive vertebral hemangioma

Accurate preoperative diagnosis is essential because they are highly vascular with a high tendency for intraoperative bleeding.

Management of aggressive VHs involves pre-op embolization, spinal surgery, and reconstruction. Pain management, physical rehabilitation, and close neurological follow-up are imperative to near-total recovery 1).

Surgery is required in cases of rapid or progressive neurological symptoms like compressive myelopathy or radiculopathy.

Vertebral hemangioma resection can be a real challenge for spine surgeons, given the high potential of massive intraoperative bleeding. For this reason, preoperative transarterial embolization of this tumor is supported by the available literature 2).


A navigation-guided drill is highly helpful for real-time monitoring of ongoing tumor resection. It enables safely resection of the tumor, especially in the anterior cortical surface of the vertebral body, and easily resections even hard tumors. This method results in reducing residual tumors and maintaining safe resection 3).

Radiotherapy can be used in patients with slowly progressive neurological deficits.

While CT-guided direct alcohol injection is effective in the management of symptomatic and aggressive vertebral hemangiomas, spinal angiography and trans-arterial embolization of the blood supply to the vertebral body hemangioma, prior to the direct transpedicular alcohol embolization of the lesion, improves the safety of the procedure 4).

Other emerging options in cases of aggressive hemangiomas include radiofrequency ablation with a hemostatic agent (e.g. FLOSEAL, Baxter, USA), and bone autograft placement 5).


Minimally invasive procedures may be successful in smaller lesions 6).

The case of a pregnancy who was diagnosed with an aggressive vertebral hemangioma that further led to progressive paraparesis. We had to take the fact that she was pregnant into account in the diagnostic procedure, the choice of examination method, and also the method of therapy. The goal of this case report is threefold: (1) provide an overview of the possible methods of management, specifically imaging, which will aid in diagnosis and based on that, (2) determine the appropriate therapy, and (3) review the risks and benefits of each will be presented when choosing individual approaches 7).


1)

Goraya GS, Singhal S, Paul BS, Paul G. Aggressive Vertebral Hemangioma: The Mystery of Spastic Legs Unveiled by a Purple Shoulder. Cureus. 2022 Jan 24;14(1):e21568. doi: 10.7759/cureus.21568. PMID: 35228927; PMCID: PMC8873442.
2)

Fiore G, Bertani GA, Tariciotti L, Borsa S, Paolucci A, Taramasso L, Locatelli M, Pluderi M. Vertebral Body Infarction after Transarterial Preoperative Embolization of a Vertebral Hemangioma. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2021 Dec 12. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1739215. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34897610.
3)

Nagashima Y, Nishimura Y, Haimoto S, Eguchi K, Awaya T, Ando R, Akahori S, Hara M, Natsume A. Piecemeal resection of aggressive vertebral hemangioma using real-time navigation-guided drilling technique. Nagoya J Med Sci. 2021 Nov;83(4):861-868. doi: 10.18999/nagjms.83.4.861. PMID: 34916728; PMCID: PMC8648519.
4)

Srinivasan G, Moses V, Padmanabhan A, Ahmed M, Keshava SN, Krishnan V, Joseph BV, Raju KP, Rajshekhar V. Utility of spinal angiography and arterial embolization in patients undergoing CT guided alcohol injection of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas. Neuroradiology. 2021 Nov;63(11):1935-1945. doi: 10.1007/s00234-021-02788-7. Epub 2021 Aug 24. PMID: 34427707.
5)

Canbay S, Kayalar AE, Gel G, Sabuncuoğlu H. A novel surgical technique for aggressive vertebral hemangiomas. (2019) Neurocirugia (Asturias, Spain). 30 (5): 233-237. doi:10.1016/j.neucir.2018.08.003
6)

Vasudeva VS, Chi JH, Groff MW. Surgical treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas. Neurosurg Focus. 2016 Aug;41(2):E7. doi: 10.3171/2016.5.FOCUS16169. PMID: 27476849.
7)

Ridzoňová L, Fedičová M, Andráš T, Urdzík P, Gdovinová Z. Lower-limb progressive paraparesis management and diagnosis overview in a pregnant woman with vertebral haemangioma. Womens Health (Lond). 2022 Jan-Dec;18:17455057221099018. doi: 10.1177/17455057221099018. PMID: 35574823.

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