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  • Author or Editor: Martin A. Baggenstos x
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Russell R. Lonser, Martin Baggenstos, H. Jeffrey Kim, John A. Butman and Alexander O. Vortmeyer


Although endolymphatic sac tumors (ELSTs) frequently destroy the posterior petrous bone and cause hearing loss, the anatomical origin of these neoplasms is unknown. To determine the precise topographic origin of ELSTs, the authors analyzed the imaging, operative, and pathological findings in patients with von Hippel–Lindau disease (VHL) and ELSTs.


Consecutive VHL patients with small (≤ 1.5 cm) ELSTs who underwent resection at the National Institutes of Health were included. Clinical, imaging, operative, and pathological findings were analyzed.


Ten consecutive VHL patients (6 male and 4 female) with 10 small ELSTs (≤ 1.5 cm; 9 left, 1 right) were included. Serial imaging captured the development of 6 ELSTs and revealed that they originated within the intraosseous (vestibular aqueduct) portion of the endolymphatic duct/sac system. Imaging just before surgery demonstrated that the epicenters of 9 ELSTs (1 ELST was not visible on preoperative imaging) were in the vestibular aqueduct. Inspection during surgery established that all 10 ELSTs were limited to the intraosseous endolymphatic duct/sac and the immediately surrounding region. Histological analysis confirmed tumor within the intraosseous portion (vestibular aqueduct) of the endolymphatic duct/sac in all 10 patients.


ELSTs originate from endolymphatic epithelium within the vestibular aqueduct. High-resolution imaging through the region of the vestibular aqueduct is essential for diagnosis. Surgical exploration of the endolymphatic duct and sac is required for complete resection.

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Martin Baggenstos, Emily Chew, John A. Butman, Edward H. Oldfield and Russell R. Lonser

Hemangioblastomas are frequently associated with peritumoral edema caused by extravasation of plasma ultrafiltrate through permeable neoplastic vessels. The authors report the clinical and imaging findings in a 62-year-old man with von Hippel–Lindau disease who presented with rapid (within 24 hours) loss of color vision and nearcomplete loss of left eye vision (acuity too poor to test). Serial MR imaging demonstrated a stable vascular tumor in the medioinferior aspect of the left optic nerve, associated with progressive edema extending from the nerve through to the bilateral optic radiations. Complete resection of the lesion was performed via an extended transsphenoidal approach, and histological examination confirmed the lesion was a hemangioblastoma. Postoperatively, the patient recovered color vision and had improvement in visual acuity (20/320). Serial imaging in this unique case captured the progressive extravasation of peritumoral edema that tracked and defined the parallel white matter tracts of first- and second-order neurons of the optic system, causing vision loss. Tumor resection led to resolution of the edema and improvement in visual function.