Extraneuraxial Hemangioblastoma: Clinicopathologic Features and Review of the Literature

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Abstract

Extraneuraxial hemangioblastoma occurs in nervous paraneuraxial structures, somatic tissues, and visceral organs, as part of von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHLD) or in sporadic cases. The VHL gene plausibly plays a key role in the initiation and tumorigenesis of both central nervous system and extraneuraxial hemangioblastoma, therefore, the underlying molecular and genetic mechanisms of the tumor growth are initially reviewed. The clinical criteria for the diagnosis of VHLD are summarized, with emphasis on the distinction of sporadic hemangioblastoma from the form fruste of VHLD (eg, hemangioblastoma-only VHLD). The world literature on the topic of extraneuraxial hemangioblastomas has been comprehensively reviewed with ∼200 cases reported to date: up to 140 paraneuraxial, mostly of proximal spinal nerve roots, and 65 peripheral, 15 of soft tissue, 6 peripheral nerve, 5 bone, and 39 of internal viscera, including 26 renal and 13 nonrenal. A handful of possible yet uncertain cases from older literature are not included in this review. The clinicopathologic features of extraneuraxial hemangioblastoma are selectively presented by anatomic site of origin, and the differential diagnosis is emphasized in these subsets. Reference is made also to 10 of the authors’ personal cases of extraneuraxial hemangioblastomas, which include 4 paraneuraxial and 6 peripheral (2 soft tissue hemangioblastoma and 4 renal).

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