Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 27, Issue 3–4, pp 125–148 | Cite as


A review of 81 cases
  • J. J. Palmer


Eighty-one cases of haemangioblastoma treated at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, England, are presented. There were 80 cerebellar haemangioblastomas and 1 purely spinal tumour. The most common symptom-complex was headache, vomiting, and ataxia, while the most common sign-complex was papilloedema, ataxia and nystagmus. On the basis of the symptoms and signs, the lesions could be correctly lateralized to one of the cerebellar hemispheres in 45.5% of the cases. Erythrocythaemia was observed in 49% of the 51 patients for whom pre-operative haemoglobin levels were available. Angiomatosis retinae was found in 3 cases and probably in an additional 2 others. Cysts in multiple organs were noted in 4 patients. The familial incidence was 9.2%. A pedigree of 5 generations was given as an example of the pattern of inheritance through an autosomal dominant gene with incomplete manifestations. The 81 patients underwent a total of 131 operations of which 108 were posterior fossa craniectomies. The overall operative mortality was 8.3%. The operative mortality for multiple procedures was 20% and for single procedures 3.7%. Radiation as an adjunct to surgical treatment was only minimally effective. Twenty per cent of the patients required multiple operations because of continuing symptoms while 16.6% of the cases required subsequent operations after what was thought to have been a “total” removal. Seventy per cent of the patients were followed for more than 5 years. At last follow up 20 patients were normal; 23 had only a minimal neurological deficit; 2 patients had moderate neurological deficits but without serious incapacity; three others were not self-sufficient; 33 patients were dead. The findings are compared with other series in the literature.


Retina Neurological Deficit Haemoglobin Level Posterior Fossa Operative Mortality 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Palmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryRadcliffe InfirmaryOxfordEngland

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