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Aggressive Vertebral Hemangiomas (VH) are very rare lesions that may present with compression fractures or bony expansion and erosion into the epidural space resulting in neurological symptoms. Especially in these patients a surgical treatment is essential. We illustrate our institutional experience and discuss the relevant literature.
Our database was searched for cases with vertebral hemangioma and the appearance of a neurological deficit between 2015 and 2020. We were able to identify one very extraordinary case which showed a very aggressive nature and resulted in paraparesis twice in the patient. Furthermore a Medline analysis was performed to identify data of this rare illness (aggressive VH, Enneking stage 3, S3) to assess the incidence and therapeutic options for this so called benign vascular tumor.
One patient was identified in the database with an extraordinary course which resulted in paraparesis twice. A 54-year-old man presented with an acute onset of paraparesis of the legs. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a hypervascular tumor of the entire L3 vertebral body and the surrounding tissue with subtotal compression of the spinal canal (Enneking stage 3). After decompression and spinal stabilization a complete recovery of the paraparesis was seen. Two weeks after the initial presentation a recurrence of the paraparesis was noted. The subsequent MRI demonstrated a recurrent increase in the tumor size with spinal canal compression. After endovascular embolization, a gross total tumor resection with a vertebral replacement was performed. The patient was noted to have a complete recovery.
The number of cases with aggressive vertebral hemangiomas (Enneking Stage 3) is limited. However, despite limited treatment algorithms for these rare cases due to the lack of data, surgical treatment should be recommended, especially in the presence of neurological symptoms. That can be underlined by our institutional experience.
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