Intracranial hemangioblastomas are benign but hypervascular tumors, most commonly located in the cerebellum, which are difficult to resect without significant operative blood loss. While preoperative embolization may decrease the amount of operative bleeding, the vascular supply of cerebellar hemangioblastomas frequently precludes safe embolization by an endovascular route due to the risk of thromboembolic vertebrobasilar infarction. Direct puncture embolization overcomes many of the limitations of endovascular embolization but its safety and feasibility for intracranial tumors is unknown. We report a 48-year-old man who was diagnosed with a large cerebellar mass after presenting with headaches and gait ataxia. Based on diagnostic angiography, which demonstrated a highly vascular tumor supplied by the posterior inferior cerebellar and posterior meningeal arteries, we decided to embolize the tumor by a direct transcranial puncture approach. After trephinating the skull in a standard fashion, a catheter-needle construct, composed of an Echelon 10 microcatheter (ev3 Endovascular, Plymouth, MN, USA) placed into a 21-gauge spinal needle, was inserted into the tumor under biplanar angiographic guidance. Using continuous angiographic monitoring, 9 cc of Onyx 34 (ev3 Endovascular) was injected through the catheter, resulting in 75% tumor devascularization without evidence of complications. The patient was taken directly to surgery where a gross total resection of the hemangioblastoma was achieved with an acceptable operative blood loss. At his 2 year follow-up, the patient was neurologically intact without neuroimaging evidence of residual tumor. We describe, to our knowledge, the first case of direct transcranial puncture for preoperative embolization of a cerebellar hemangioblastoma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Physiology (medical)