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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2013 Jun;155(6):1003-9; discussion 1009. doi: 10.1007/s00701-013-1681-5. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Sporadic intracranial haemangioblastomas: surgical outcome in a single institution series.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Pontchaillou University Hospital, 35033, Rennes cedex 09, France.



Haemangioblastomas are benign vascular tumours that may appear sporadically or in von Hippel-Lindau disease. Despite their higher incidence, sporadic haemangioblastomas have been less studied than syndromic ones. In this article, we evaluate the specific features, outcome and quality of life of patients with intracranial sporadic haemangioblastomas (ISHs) operated on in our institution.


Between 1998 and 2010, 38 patients harbouring 38 ISHs were operated on in our department. Their clinical, biological, radiological and surgical features were retrospectively reviewed. All patients were contacted for a quality-of-life (QOL) survey assessed by the Short Form 36 questionnaire (SF36). The mean duration of follow-up was 40 months (13-108 months).


ISH represented 0.9 % of primary intracranial neoplasms treated in our centre during this period. Patients comprised 23 men and 15 women with a mean age of 47 years. None had polycythaemia. Cerebellar locations accounted for 79 % of ISHs, and brainstem ISH with involvement of the floor of the fourth ventricle represented 11 % of ISHs. At last follow-up, two patients harbouring solid medulla oblongata haemangioblastoma had died following severe bulbar syndrome and five patients had died of unrelated causes. One patient had multiple surgeries for three recurrences. Tumoral control was achieved in all cases at last follow-up. Results of the SF-36 questionnaire were as follows: median physical functioning score 100 (range 0-100), median physical problems score 100 (range 0-100), median bodily pain score 100 (range 45-100), median social functioning score 100 (range 25-100), median general mental health score 84 (range 40-92), median emotional problems score 100 (range 0-100), median vitality score 70 (range 35-80) and median general health perceptions score 70 (range 35-100). Mean QOL scores were similar to the general healthy population.


Surgery of ISH provides good QOL and tumoral control except for those located in the medulla oblongata. We recommend considering a careful multimodal therapeutic approach, including radiosurgery for these specific locations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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