Vertebral hemangioma

Case contributed by MD Gaspar Alberto


Incidental finding

Patient Data

Age: 50
Gender: Male
Race: Hispanic/Latino

Bone hemangioma. Incidental finding of a small thoracic vertebral body hemangioma. Note the punctate sclerotic foci, or polka-dot appearance, which is a characteristic finding


Vertebral hemangioma is benign vascular tumor composed of vascular channels that are cavernous, capillary, or venous in type. It is most common spinal axis tumor often identified as an incidental finding. Hemangiomas are usually identified in middle-aged patients, particularly those in the fourth and fifth decades of life. Women are affected about twice as frequently as men. Some, however, on rare occasions, vertebral hemangiomas ("aggressive hemangioma") may be accompanied by symptoms and signs of spinal cord compression owing to extension of the lesions into the epidural space, leading to narrowing of the spinal canal.
Radiographically, a coarse, vertical trabecular pattern, the corduroy appearance, is identified in the vertebral body. The trabeculae and their vertical orientation differs from the subchondral, horizontally arranged trabecular condensation that typifies Paget's disease (the picture-frame vertebral body) or renal osteodystrophy (the rugger-jersey vertebral body).

Case Discussion

Bone hemangiomas are benign, malformed vascular lesions, overall constituting less than 1% of all primary bone neoplasms. They occur most frequently in the vertebral column (30-50%) and skull (20%), whereas involvement of other sites (including the long bones, short tubular bones, and ribs) is extremely rare.

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Case information

rID: 14834
Published: 30th Aug 2011
Last edited: 13th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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