Atypical Vertebral Hemangiomas Are Frequently Associated with Radiculomedullary Arteries

Erick M. Westbroek, A. Karim Ahmed, Zach Pennington, Matthew L. Goodwin, Yuanxuan Xia, Christine Boone, Philippe Gailloud, Daniel M. Sciubba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Preoperative endovascular embolization of atypical hemangiomas of the spine can reduce intraoperative blood loss. One frequent concern raised about embolizing these tumors is a possible association with arteries feeding the spinal cord, such as the artery of Adamkiewicz. This study aimed to elucidate a relationship between spinal levels affected by atypical spinal hemangiomas and radiculomedullary arteries. Methods: This was a retrospective review of 8 patients undergoing preoperative embolization of atypical spinal hemangiomas. We evaluated 54 spinal levels by angiography during embolization procedures. Each spinal level was categorized on the basis of the presence or absence of tumor and radiculomedullary artery. Results: Six of 15 (40%) affected levels had an associated radiculomedullary artery. Four of 39 (10.2%) unaffected levels had an associated cord feeding artery. The relative risk of affected spinal levels having an associated radiculomedullary artery was 3.9 (95% confidence interval 1.28–11.91). The attributable risk was 0.40 (95% CI 0.12–0.76). The chi-squared statistic was 6.35, with a P value of 0.01. Six of 8 patients (75%) had a radiculomedullary artery at a level of disease and embolization. Conclusions: In this study, spinal levels affected by atypical hemangiomas requiring surgery were associated with radiculomedullary arteries. When performing preoperative embolization, great care must be taken to identify and preserve arteries supplying the spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1215-e1220
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Hypervascular tumors
  • Preoperative embolization
  • Spine oncology
  • Vascular anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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