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Papers of the Week

2022 Jan




A Challenge in Diagnosis of Cerebellar Hemangioblastoma.


Lopes Dos Santos A, Trevas S, Rosado M L
Cureus. 2022 Jan; 14(1):e21713.
PMID: 35242478.


Hemangioblastomas are benign neoplasms, which are highly vascularized and have a slow-growing rate that typically affect the central nervous system; they account for about 1-2.5% of all intracranial tumors and for approximately 2-3% of all intramedullary neoplasms. We present a clinical case of cerebellar hemangioblastoma with six years of evolution, which illustrates the diagnostic difficulties that often arise, especially when the clinical and imaging characteristics escape those usually described and when other clinical findings appear as confounding factors. A 17-year-old female was initially admitted to the emergency department (ED) with a holocranial headache, gait imbalance, and vomiting. A brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was done and a rounded lesion was detected in the left cerebellar hemisphere, hypointense in T1 and hyperintense in T2, with annular contrast enhancement. Several hypotheses for diagnosis were made, and the patient was subjected to several therapies, with periods of remission of symptoms interleaved with periods of worsening. After imaging suggestive of hemangioblastoma on routine brain MRI, the tumor was excised surgically and the histopathology confirmed the diagnosis. In the control brain MRI exams performed six and 24 months after surgery, no evidence of tumor recurrence was detected, and the patient remained asymptomatic. In conclusion, although these are rare neoplasms, it is essential to always consider hemangioblastomas in the differential diagnosis of cases with compatible clinical and radiological findings. A wrong or late diagnosis may lead to the use of unnecessary and harmful therapies as well as the appearance of potentially preventable complications if these tumors are handled correctly and timely.