May 9, 2010

Spinal Hemangioma

Axial and sagittal reformatted CT images show a well circumscribe lytic lesion in the body of the thoracic spine with a "polka-dot" pattern (best appreciated on the axial image).

Facts: Spinal Hemangioma
  • Most common benign lesions with a vascular origin
  • In the spine, they are usually cavernous or mixed types
  • Most common location = thoracolumbar or lumbar spine
  • Can be seen in any age but most common after 40 years
  • Mostly asymptomatic but can rarely cause compression fracture, spinal cord compression or nerve root encroachment
Imaging Findings
  • Well circumscribe lytic lesion
  • Internal thickened trabeculae (seen as "polka-dot" on axial view and vertical striation on reformations)
  • On MRI, hemangiomas are hyperintense on both T1WI (likely due to fat component) and T2WI, with enhancement
Herkowitz HN, Bell GR. The Lumbar Spine, 3rd edition, 2004.

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