About Spinal Hemangioblastoma
Spinal hemangioblastoma is a rare tumor that arises from the vascular structures of the central nervous system. Spinal hemangioblastomas only account for three percent of all spinal cord tumors. This tumor may cause pain or neurological symptoms. Spinal hemangioblastomas are benign tumors that are typically managed through surgical excision.
Common Symptoms of Spinal Hemangioblastoma
Depending on the location of the hemangioblastoma symptoms vary, but can include:
- Weakness in the extremities
- Sensory loss
- Coordination problems
- Difficulty controlling bowel and bladder
Diagnosis of Spinal Hemangioblastoma
Hemangioblastomas can resemble other tumors, making diagnosis difficult. MRI and CT are the most commonly used imaging techniques to identify the location and extent of these tumors. Angiography is used to define the blood flow to the tumor, the feeding and draining blood vessels.
Treatment Options for Spinal Hemangioblastoma
Two options to treat a spinal hemangioblastoma are resurrection or radiosurgery. Both procedures aim to remove the tumor completely or as much as possible. Surgery if often considered as the initial treatment alternative for complete resection of the lesion. A noninvasive option to remove the tumor is stereotactic radiosurgery. This procedure can target the tumor in a single procedure that takes six months to a year to completely destroy the tumor.