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Marie T. Krüger, Christine Steiert, Sven Gläsker and Jan-Helge Klingler


Hemangioblastomas are benign, highly vascularized tumors that can occur sporadically or as part of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. Traditionally, spinal hemangioblastomas have been surgically treated via an open approach. In recent years, however, minimally invasive techniques using tubular retractors have been increasingly applied in spine surgery. Such procedures involve less tissue trauma but are also particularly demanding for the surgeon, especially in cases of highly vascular tumors such as hemangioblastomas. The object of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of minimally invasive resection of selected spinal hemangioblastomas.


The authors conducted a retrospective single-center study of all patients who, between January 2010 and January 2018, had been operated on for spinal hemangioblastoma via a minimally invasive approach performed at the surgeon’s discretion. The surgical technique is described and the pre- and postoperative neurological and imaging results were analyzed descriptively. The primary outcome was the postoperative compared to preoperative neurological condition (McCormick grade). The secondary outcomes were the extent of tumor resection and postoperative complications.


Eighteen patients, 12 female and 6 male, harboring a total of 19 spinal hemangioblastomas underwent surgery in the study period. Seventeen patients had stable neurological findings with stable or improved McCormick grades (94.5%) at a mean of 4.3 months after surgery. One (5.5%) of the 18 patients developed progressive neurological symptoms with a worsened McCormick grade that did not improve in the long-term follow-up. Sixteen of the 18 patients had VHL disease, whereas 2 patients had sporadic spinal hemangioblastomas. In all patients, postoperative MRI showed complete resection of the tumors. No other surgery-related perioperative or postoperative complications were recorded.


A minimally invasive approach for the resection of selected spinal hemangioblastomas is safe and allows complete tumor resection with good clinical results in experienced hands.

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Jorn Van Der Veken, Sven Gläsker, Vassilis Vougioukas and Vera Van Velthoven

The surgical management of anteriorly located spinal cord hemangioblastomas remains a challenge. Different approaches have been published, of which the anterior approach seems to be the most obvious and commonly used. A posterior approach might be more suitable in certain patients, especially in cases of cystic hemangioblastomas. The authors present 3 cases of anterior spinal hemangioblastomas, which were all resected via a posterior approach. The authors discuss the rationale for choosing this approach and explain the technique in detail.

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Jie Li, Hiroaki Okamoto, Chunyue Yin, Jay Jagannathan, Jun Takizawa, Sadao Aoki, Sven Gläsker, Elisabeth J. Rushing, Alexander O. Vortmeyer, Edward H. Oldfield, Ryuya Yamanaka and Zhengping Zhuang


The lack of primary lymphoid tissue within the central nervous system (CNS) confounds our understanding of the pathogenesis of primary CNS lymphomas (PCNSLs). Comparing the protein expression of PCNSLs and sporadic systemic lymphomas (SSLs) provides a useful strategy for identifying a molecular signature that characterizes disease-associated features and provides information regarding tumor initiation and progression.


Seven diffuse large B-cell PCNSLs were selected to undergo 2D gel electrophoresis, and profiled proteomes from these PCNSLs were compared with those from 7 diffuse large B-cell SSLs. Distinguishing proteins were sequenced using mass spectrometry.


Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis identified an average of 706 proteins from each specimen. Computerized gel analysis and manual reconfirmation revealed a 96% similarity in the proteomes of PCNSLs and SSLs. Comparative analysis identified 9 proteins significantly overexpressed (p < 0.05) and 16 proteins downregulated in PCNSLs. The proteomic findings were further validated using Western blot and immunohistochemical staining.


The similarities in proteomic patterns between PCNSLs and SSLs suggest that these tumor types share structural similarities, acquired during differentiation. The ultimate fate of lymphomatous cells (CNS vs systemic) may be related to differentially expressed proteins, which function in homing and host processing. Elucidating the roles of these differentially expressed proteins will prove valuable in understanding the pathogenesis of PCNSL.