Neurosurgical Review

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 585–592 | Cite as

Surgery in extensive vertebral hemangioma: case report, literature review and a new algorithm proposal

  • Roberto Tarantino
  • Pasquale Donnarumma
  • Lorenzo Nigro
  • Roberto Delfini
Case Report


Hemangiomas are benign dysplasias or vascular tumors consisting of vascular spaces lined with endothelium. Nowadays, radiotherapy for vertebral hemangiomas (VHs) is widely accepted as primary treatment for painful lesions. Nevertheless, the role of surgery is still unclear. The purpose of this study is to propose a novel algorithm of treatment about VHs. This is a case report of an extensive VH and a review of the literature. A case of vertebral fracture during radiotherapy at a total dose of 30 Gy given in 10 fractions (treatment time 2 weeks) using a linear accelerator at 15 MV high-energy photons for extensive VH is reported. Using PubMed database, a review of the literature is done. The authors have no study funding sources. The authors have no conflicting financial interests. In the literature, good results in terms of pain and neurological deficits are reported. No cases of vertebral fractures are described. However, there is no consensus regarding the treatment for VHs. Radiotherapy is widely utilized in VHs determining pain. Surgery for VHs determining neurological deficit is also widely accepted. Perhaps, regarding the width of the lesion, no indications are given. We consider it important to make an evaluation before initiating the treatment for the risk of pathologic vertebral fracture, since in radiotherapy, there is no convention regarding structural changes determined in VHs. We propose a new algorithm of treatment. We recommend radiotherapy only for small lesions in which vertebral stability is not concerned. Kyphoplasty can be proposed for asymptomatic patients in which VHs are small and in patients affected by VHs determining pain without spinal canal invasion in which the VH is small. In patients affected by pain without spinal canal invasion but in which the VH is wide or presented with spinal canal invasion and in patients affected by neurological deficits, we propose surgery.


Vertebral hemangiomas Radiotherapy Neurological deficits Pain 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Tarantino
    • 1
  • Pasquale Donnarumma
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Nigro
    • 1
  • Roberto Delfini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Division of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Rome “Sapienza”RomeItaly

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