Role of preoperative embolization for intradural spinal hemangioblastomas

Leonel Ampie, Winward Choy, Ryan Khanna, Zachary A. Smith, Nader S. Dahdaleh, Andrew T. Parsa, Orin Bloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Spinal hemangioblastomas (HB) are relatively rare neoplasms with a high degree of vascularity. Therapy for symptomatic tumors involves total resection when possible. Due to the enriched blood supply of these neoplasms, there is a high risk of significant intraoperative blood loss, which can lead to perioperative complications. Preoperative embolization of HB has been suggested to reduce blood loss and operative morbidity, but its use remains controversial. Data on the risks and benefits of preoperative embolization for this tumor remains limited. We identified and analyzed all 29 reported cases of preoperative embolization of intradural spinal HB within the literature. There were 18 men and nine women, and patients ranged from 24 to 61 years of age. Mean tumor size was 3.5 cm. Cervical and thoracic location was most common, accounting for 48.3% and 20% of cases, respectively. Complications from embolization and surgery were minimal, with no deaths or permanent neurological morbidity. Minimal intraoperative bleeding and excellent rates of gross total resection were reported with preoperative embolization. However, outcomes from microsurgery alone from historical series have similarly reported excellent outcomes. While there is no established standard, preoperative embolization should be reserved for particularly high risk patients with risk of intraoperative bleeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Embolization
  • Hemangioblastoma
  • Intradural
  • Preoperative
  • Spinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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