Cavernous angiomas of the spinal cord exhibit imaging characteristics that may overlap with those of hemorrhagic ependymoma. In the present study, we aimed to identify specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings that could be used to differentiate cavernous angioma from hemorrhagic ependymoma, and to evaluate serial MRI changes in cases of cavernous angioma. We retrospectively evaluated MR images of spinal cord tumors collected at our hospital from 2007 to 2015. From this cohort of images, 11 pathologically confirmed cavernous angiomas and 14 pathologically confirmed hemorrhagic ependymomas were compared with respect to the size of the tumor, longitudinal location, axial location, enhancement pattern, syrinx, edema, tumor margin, signal intensity of T2WI, signal intensity of T1WI, and longitudinal spreading of the hemorrhage. Serial MR images of seven spinal cavernous angiomas were reviewed. Small size, eccentric axial location, minimal enhancement, and absence of edema were more frequently observed on images of cavernous angioma compared to those of hemorrhagic ependymoma (p < 0.01). Serial MRI changes in cases of cavernous angioma included increased longitudinal spreading of the hemorrhage (6/7, 86 %) and emergence of high signal intensity on T1WI (1/7, 14 %). Small size, eccentric axial location, minimal enhancement, and absence of edema are significant MRI findings that may be used to distinguish Type I and Type II spinal cavernous angiomas from hemorrhagic ependymomas. Furthermore, longitudinal spreading of the hemorrhage may be observed on follow-up MRIs of cavernous angiomas.
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This study was supported by a new faculty research seed money grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2016(2016-32-0023).
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Conflict of interest
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
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