Metastatic cardiac angiosarcoma of the cervical spine: Case report

Scott Shapiro, John Scott, Kevin Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Study Design. A case report of metastatic cardiac angiosarcoma of the cervical spine. Objectives. To show that this rare spine tumor behaves in the same manner as an arteriovenous malformation and embolization, which can allow for successful spine surgery, and to discuss the natural history and rarity of this tumor. Summary of Background Data. Primary angiosarcoma of the heart is a very rare tumor, with fewer than 200 reports in the English literature and nothing reported in the spine literature. Results. The patient in this study initially sought treatment for neck pain, left arm pain, and weakness 17 months after cardiac surgery and subsequent chemotherapy. A cervical computed tomography scan demonstrated a C5 lyric vertebral body tumor with intracannilicular extension and cord compression. An anterior cervical approach was made, but the tumor was too vascular to resect, and surgery was aborted. The C5 vascular vertebral body metastasis subsequently was embolized successfully by an interventional neuroradiologist. Reoperation via an anterior approach with corpectomy, cadaveric fibula, and anterior locking plate internal fixation was successful, producing marked improvement in the patients' symptoms. Conclusion. Spinal involvement by primary cardiac angiosarcoma is very rare, and this is only the second operative case ever reported. The vascular nature of this tumor makes it behave in a manner similar to that of a high-flow arteriovenous malformation. Surgery should not be undertaken before preoperative angiography and embolization. The dismal prognosis for this rare malignancy is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1156-1158
Number of pages3
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999


  • Angiographic embolization
  • Cardiac angiosarcoma
  • Cervical corpectomy
  • Cervical spine tumor
  • Spine metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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