Microsurgical Resection of Spinal Cord Hemangioblastoma: 2-Dimensional Operative Video

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2018 Dec 1; 15(6):E88-E89. doi: 10.1093/ons/opy123.


This video demonstrates microsurgical resection of spinal cord hemangioblastoma. Hemangioblastomas are rare, benign, highly vascularized tumors classified as grade I according to World Health Organization classification systems. About 3% of all intramedullary tumors are hemangioblastomas. Spinal cord hemangioblastomas are either sporadic or manifestations of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease in 20% to 45% of patients.

A 30-year-old male presented with sudden onset urinary incontinence. Magnetic resonance imaging showed contrast enhancing intramedullary tumor with adjacent cyst in T11, and syringomyelia extending to C1. Surgical resection followed rules that apply to resection of arteriovascular malformations: coagulation of arterial feeders precedes the coagulation of the draining vein, which is preserved until the end of surgery.

First, posterior midline myelotomy was performed and the tumor cyst was drained in order to develop a dissection plane. Following this, we continuously separated dorsal nerve roots from the tumor nodule using microsurgical technique. The key step in tumor resection is devascularization of the tumor, achievable in 2 ways. The circumferential detachment of the normal pia from the tumor pia is crucial in developing a plane of dissection. The coagulation and division of arterial feeders while preserving the drainage vein further devascularizes the tumor. Once the tumor mural nodule was detached from the spinal cord, the drainage vein was coagulated last and the tumor was removed. The patient fully recovered from his incontinence and was neurologically intact. Screening for VHL disease was negative.

Written consent was obtained directly from the patient.

Hemangioblastoma, Sporadic, Spinal cord, Microsurgery, Resection