Extramedullary hematopoiesis secondary to chronic anemia is well reported throughout the literature. A rare presentation of this condition is in the central nervous tissue reported most frequently as an epidural mass causing spinal cord compression. The authors report the case of a 51-year-old man with β-thalassemia and chronic anemia who was found to have a 4-cm paravertebral mass suggestive of a schwannoma. The patient underwent transthoracic resection of the mass. Histological examination confirmed an extramedullary hematopoietic tumor. In this article the authors propose a method to distinguish extramedullary hematopoietic tumors from schwannomas. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case in the neurosurgical literature of this phenomenon.
Abbreviation used in this paper: EMHT = extramedullary hematopoietic tumor.
Address correspondence to: Faheem A. Sandhu, M.D., Ph.D., Georgetown University Hospital, Department of Neurosurgery, Pasquerilla Healthcare Center, 7th Floor, 3800 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007. email:
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