European Spine Journal

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 186–190 | Cite as

Surgical management of haemangioendothelioma of the spine

  • D. S. Marks
  • A. M. C. Thomas
  • A. G. Thompson
  • S. Mills
Original Articles


Four patients with haemangioendothelioma of the spine which was treated surgically are presented. Two were male and two female, mean age 30 years (range 5–60). All tumours were sited in the thoracic spine between T5 and T10; three were primary and one metastatic from a hepatic haemangioendothelioma. Each patient had a significant neurological deficit at presentation; three were paraplegic. A diagnosis of vertebral neoplastic disease was suggested on plain radiographs, and in three cases this was supported by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Two patients underwent anterior decompression and posterior instrumented stabilisation, one anterior decompression alone and one posterior decompression followed by tumour vessel embolisation and then anterior decompression. Intra-operative blood loss was a significant feature despite the use of hypotensive anaesthetic techniques and local haemostatic agents. Three of the tumours were tested for Factor VIII (a tumour for vascular tumours), and all proved positive. In these, sufficient histological material was available to grade the tumours according to the classification of Campanacci et al. [1]. All were grade II. Three patients recovered completely from paraglegia; one had residual mild spasticity which required the use of a walking aid. The mean improvement in Frankel grade was 2.5 (range 1–4). In two the tumour recurred outside the spine within 18 months; one has subsequently died. The presentation, investigation and results of surgery for haemangioendothelioma of the spine are presented. Particular attention is drawn to the neurological status at presentation, the effect of pre-operative tumour embolisation and the dramatic recovery that can be achieved in these patients following surgery.

Key words

Haemangioendothelioma Thoracic spine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. S. Marks
    • 1
  • A. M. C. Thomas
    • 1
  • A. G. Thompson
    • 1
  • S. Mills
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Spinal SurgeryThe Royal Orthopaedic HospitalBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Department of HistopathologySouth Warwickshire HospitalWarwickUK

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