Intramedullary hemangioblastomas are rare benign vascular tumors, infrequent in pediatric patients. Clinical symptoms vary according to the age of presentation, tumor size, location, and concomitant syringomyelia. This is the second reported case of hemangioblastoma presenting with acute hydrocephalus.
A 3-month-old infant with acute hydrocephalus was asymptomatic after a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was placed. She returned 3 months later with irritability, acute paraplegia, and respiratory distress. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an intramedullary T8-T9 tumor with syringomyelia. She underwent surgical resection with good results during the 6-month follow-up.
Intramedullary tumors may present as hydrocephalus and other nonspecific symptoms, with invariably delayed diagnosis in children, but must be considered in suspicious cases.