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Ignazio G. Vetrano, Francesco Prada, Ilaria F. Nataloni, Massimiliano Del Bene, Francesco Dimeco, and Laura G. Valentini

Hemangioblastomas are benign, highly vascularized intramedullary lesions that may also extend into the intradural space. Surgery represents the standard therapy, with the goal of obtaining complete resection even at the risk of neurological morbidity. MRI is the gold standard for diagnosis and assessment of intramedullary tumors. Nevertheless, sometimes MRI may not accurately differentiate between different types of intramedullary tumors, in particular if they are associated with syringes or intra- and peritumoral cysts. This could subsequently affect surgical strategies. Intraoperative ultrasound (ioUS) has become in the last few years a very useful tool for use during neurosurgical procedures. Various ioUS modalities such as B-mode and Doppler have been applied during neurosurgical procedures. On the other hand, the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is not yet well defined and standardized in this field. We report a case of a young patient harboring a cervicothoracic intramedullary tumor, for which the preoperative neuroradiologi-cal diagnosis was in favor of a diffuse astrocytoma with nodular components whereas ioUS demonstrated 3 distinct intramedullary nodules. CEUS showed highly vascularized lesions, compatible with hemangioblastomas. These findings, particularly those obtained with CEUS, allowed better definition of the lesions for diagnosis, enhanced understanding of the physiopathological aspects, and permitted the localization of all 3 nodules, thus limiting spinal cord manipulation and allowing complete resection of the lesions, with an uneventful postoperative neurological course.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the use of intraoperative CEUS in a case of intramedullary hemangioblastoma.