Mario Mühmer, Richard Bostelmann, Sevgi Sarikaya-Seiwert, Marcel Schneiderhan, Hans-Jakob Steiger, Jan Frederick Cornelius

January 2014, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 404 - 410 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-013-3045-5

First Online: 06 October 2013


Haemangiomas are very frequent benign spinal tumours. However, pure epidural location is extremely rare. At present, only 52 cases have been reported in the literature during the last 10 years. We proposed to analyse clinical and radiological features of this rare entity treated in a tertiary care centre over the last 10 years.


A study of a retrospective surgical series (2002–2012) was conducted. The clinic’s electronic database was searched for “spinal” and/or “vertebral haemangiomas”, which were treated by surgery and/or vertebroplasty. Clinical, radiological and histopathological data were analysed.


In total, the series comprised 30 spinal haemangiomas. There were 6 epidural (20 %), 17 vertebral (57 %) and 7 intradural lesions (23 %). There were four men and two women, mean age 28.3 years, with epidural lesions. One patient presented with localised back pain only, two with radiculopathy and focal neurological deficit, two with radiculopathy only and one with isolated focal neurological deficit, respectively. The onset of symptoms was progressive in four cases over weeks to months and sudden in two cases. Preoperative MRI imaging revealed features of meningioma, neurinoma or metastasis.


Epidural haemangiomas are extremely rare spinal lesions. They may mimic more common spinal tumours clinically and radiologically. The usual treatment is gross total resection confirming the diagnosis histologically.

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