Radiologic Features and Surgical Strategy of Hemangioblastomas with Enhanced Cyst Wall

Qiguang Wang, Si Zhang, Jian Cheng, Wenke Liu, Xuhui Hui
World Neurosurgery 2017, 108: 143-150

OBJECTIVE: Hemangioblastomas with enhanced cyst walls represent a rare radiologic presentation of hemangioblastomas with poor understandings. We aimed to summarize the clinical and radiologic features, important differential diagnosis, surgical strategy, and clinical outcome of this rare entity.

METHODS: From June 2008 to March 2017, 12 patients with cystic hemangioblastomas presenting with enhanced wall thickness on MRI were treated in our department. The clinical presentations, radiologic investigations, surgical treatment, neurologic outcome, and recurrence rate were evaluated. Important preoperative differential diagnosis and surgical strategy of this entity were discussed.

RESULTS: Twelve patients with cystic hemangioblastomas presenting with an enhanced cyst wall on magnetic resonance imaging were analyzed retrospectively. There were 5 male and 7 female subjects, with a mean age of 41.4 years (range, 13-78 years) and an average duration of symptoms before diagnosis of 2.23 months (range, 0.5-8.0 months). Radiologically, enhancement of both tumoral nodule and cyst were observed in 8 patients, while pure ring-enhanced cyst without typical tumoral nodule was found in 4 patients. Histopathologic examination confirmed the diagnosis of hemangioblastomas, and the enhanced cyst wall and mural nodule shared the same histopathologic pattern. Postoperative complications occurred in only 1 patient with postoperative cerebellar hemorrhage. During follow-up, 8 patients achieved favorable neurologic outcomes (Karnofsky score: 100) without recurrence; however, 4 patients experienced local tumor recurrence after the initial surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: Hemangioblastomas with enhanced cyst wall possess distinctive radiologic features, and they are frequently misdiagnosed preoperatively. Favorable tumor control can be achieved only when gross total resection of both the tumor nodule and cyst wall are performed. Close follow-up is necessary because of the high recurrence rate in this subset of hemangioblastomas.

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