Spinal Haemangioblastomas in Nigerians: A Report of Two Cases
Background: Spinal haemangioblastomas are rare benign but potentially devastating vascular tumours.
They may occur sporadically or as a component of Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. There is a dearth of information on these tumours among Nigerians. This study aims to evaluate the clinical profile and outcome of surgery as well as the challenges of the management of these tumours in a resource-limited country.
Methods: We retrospectively analysed data from the records of patients who had surgery for spinal haemangioblastoma at our centre between January 2004 and December 2018.
Results: We operated 2 cases of spinal haemangioblastomas during the study period (1 male, 1 female). The patients were aged 25 and 50 years. The onset of symptoms was 2 weeks in one patient and 18 months in the other. The tumour was located in the thoracic region in the 2 patients. One patient had extramedullary tumour. Both individuals were paraplegic at the time of surgery, which was 3 days in one patient and more than 4 months in the other. Whereas gross total tumour resection was achieved patient with shorter duration of symptoms and While both patients had thoracic lesions and presented with sensorimotor deficits, only one had sphincteric dysfunction. Patient had an intramedullary tumour location both instances, the extramedullary tumour made a rapid-post operative neurological improvement, while the one with the longer duration of symptoms and intramedullary tumour remained paraplegic until his death nine months after surgery.
Conclusion: Spinal haemangioblastomas are rare tumours. Long duration of symptoms and intramedullary tumour location may be predictors of unfavorable surgical outcome.
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