Lumbar hemorrhagic synovial cysts: Diagnosis, pathogenesis, and treatment. Report of 3 cases

Alessandro Ramieri, Maurizio Domenicucci, Arsen Seferi, Sergio Paolini, Vincenzo Petrozza, Roberto Delfini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To define the etiologic, clinical, histological, and surgical features of lumbar hemorrhagic synovial cysts (LHSCs). Three personal cases are reported together with a review of the pertinent literature. Methods: We identified 3 cases of LHSC treated in our departments and 20 cases culled from the literature. Results: A total of 23 cases of LHSC were selected. All the patients underwent surgical treatment because of untreatable radicular pain and/or neurological deficits. The amount of bleeding, either massive or minor but repeated, influenced the timing of surgery. In our cases, the histological examinations showed an inflammatory reaction within the cyst and the consequent formation of neoangiogenic vessels. Conclusions: Hemorrhagic synovial cyst of the spine is rare and its most common localization is lumbar. Bleeding within the cyst leads to an increase of its volume, accompanied by neurological deficits and/or painful symptoms that are violent and generally intractable. In this event, surgical excision is the treatment of choice and, in some cases, emergency surgery is necessary. Hemorrhages are probably caused by the rupture of fragile neoangiogenic vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Lumbar spine
  • Surgery
  • Synovial cyst-hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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