Multiple spinal intramedullary cavernous angiomas with bleeding episode mimicking an intramedullary tumor

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Intramedullary cavernous angioma is a rare vascular malformation compared to cerebral cavernous malformation. The incidence of cavernous angioma is about 3-5% of all central nervous system lesions, 5-12% of all spinal vascular lesions, and 1% of all intramedullary lesions in pediatric patients. Although intramedullary cavernous angioma has the same histological picture as cerebral cavernous angioma, the natural history, and surgical approach are different from cerebral cavernous angioma. Due to its location in the eloquent area of the spinal medulla, a slight change in the size of the lesion can affect the neurological function of the patient. We describe a case of an intramedullary cavernous angioma with hemosiderin post bleeding, located in the cervical cord which was initially misdiagnosed as hemorrhagic ependymoma. On whole spine MR imaging we also found an intramedullary cavernous angioma in the lower thoracal cord at the T12 level with mild hemorrhage. Abdominal MRI showed cavernous angiomas in both kidneys. The patient underwent surgical treatment with removal of the lesion in the cervical cord and T12 level, with histopathologic findings consistent with cavernous angioma. No malignancy was detected. Post-surgery, the symptoms gradually improved. Symptomatic intramedullary cavernous angioma tends to bleed repeatedly and being unstable. Early diagnosis and surgical treatment can prevent rebleeding and more severe symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Radiology Case Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • bleeding episode
  • cavernoma
  • cavernous angioma
  • intramedullary
  • magnetic resonance imaging


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