Extradural spinal hemangiomas without vertebral body or intradural involvement are rare and often misdiagnosed. When present in the lumbar spine, they typically present with radiculopathy and weakness. CT imaging is helpful in assessing for bony involvement and temporal involvement while MRI imaging can be helpful in distinguishing hemangiomas from other mass lesions, however current reports on imaging features are limited. Diagnosis remains primarily dependent on tissue pathology with surgery as the mainstay of treatment.
We present a unique case report in which we obtain additional DSA imaging to not only visualize the vascular anatomy associated with a L4-5 neuroforaminal capillary hemangioma involving the L4 nerve root and ganglion, but to also embolize the feeding artery prior to surgical resection. Patient initially underwent a CT-guided biopsy that was suspicious for a hemangioma and confirmed on final pathology to be the capillary subtype.
When diagnosed appropriately, patients avoid unnecessary additional testing and avoid erroneous treatment of this rare lesion. Based on our experience, we propose initial MRI imaging to characterize the hemangioma and evaluate for intradural involvement, DSA to assess vascularity followed by embolization of the lesion when able in order to minimize intra-operative hemorrhage risk, and ultimately surgery to achieve a gross total resection.