The prognostic factors for surgically removed spinal hemangioblastomas, the impact of VHL disease on outcome, and the role of intraoperative neuromonitoring are still not completely clear. The aim of this study was to review our experience with spinal hemangioblastomas in order to assess potential predictors of neurological outcome after surgery. All cases of spinal hemangioblastomas removed at two Italian academic institutions from 1985 to 2020 were reviewed. Data about clinical presentation and symptom duration, diagnosis of VHL, surgical approach, use of IONM, duration of hospital stay, follow-up, and modified McCormick grade before and after surgery were extracted. Sixty-one patients (31 F, 30 M) underwent 69 surgeries to remove 74 spinal hemangioblastomas (37 cervical, 32 thoracic, 5 lumbar). Improvement was found in 32.3% of cases, neurological condition remained stable in 51.6% of cases, and deteriorated in 16.1% of patients. A worsening trend in VHL patients and an improvement trend in non-VHL patients were detected, despite the lack of statistical significance. Laminotomy and use of IONM were found to be associated with better outcome, although no association was found between surgery without IONM and worse outcome. In most cases, patients affected by spinal hemangioblastomas can expect a good long-term outcome. In our experience, laminotomy seems to be associated with better outcome compared to laminectomy. While its absence is not associated with worse outcome, IONM seems to be associated with a better neurological outcome. Our study suggests that the more impaired the preoperative neurological condition, the worse the outcome.
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