How can we help you?
Schedule anappointment >
Ask a question >
Request our expertopinion >
1-877-986-9862(within the U.S.)
Hemangiopericytomas are a type of rare tumor involving blood vessels and soft tissues.
Hemangiopericytomas often are painless masses and may not have any associated symptoms.
These hemangiopericytoma tumors can originate anywhere in the body where there are capillaries. The most common locations reported are the brain, lower extremities, pelvic area, head, and neck.
Hemangiopericytomas can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Malignant hemangiopericytomas can metastasize or spread to other areas in the body, primarily the lungs and bones.
Hemangiopericytomas can be located in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Though rare, their prognosis is better because they tend to be less aggressive and do not metastasize.
At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for hemangiopericytomas in the head and neck is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. Benefits of EEA include:
Following surgery, you may also be treated with a boost of Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. This is a painless procedure that uses hundreds of highly focused radiation beams to target tumors and lesions within the brain, with no surgical incision.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you about symptoms you are experiencing.
These tumors usually are painless masses, often without any associated symptoms. They can remain undetected for long periods of time, due to the fact that they originate in soft tissue that is flexible and easily makes room for the new mass.
When symptoms occur, they are likely to be associated with an enlarging mass. They can mimic meningiomas around the brain and skull base, causing neurologic disturbances.
Imaging studies will reveal the exact location and size of the mass, as well as the extent of spread. Biopsy of the tissue allows for the identification of specific characteristics.
UPMC's neurosurgical team may recommend a combination of surgical and non-surgical approachesfor hemangiopericytoma treatment.
Surgical removal of the tumor is the primary treatment.
Hemangiopericytomas of the skull base may be approached directly using the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive approach allows surgeons to access the tumor through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision. Surgeons then remove the hemangiopericytoma through the nose and nasal cavities.
EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, and a faster recovery time.
If you need complementary treatments, such as radiation, those therapies can begin soon after EEA surgery.
When evaluating you for treatment, our neurosurgeons will look at your hemangiopericytoma from every direction. We will find the surgical path that is least disruptive to your brain, critical nerves, and ability to return to normal functioning.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a painless procedure that uses hundreds of highly focused radiation beams to target tumors and lesions within the brain, with no surgical incision.
Gamma Knife treatment may be an option for people with residual tumor after surgery or for those who show delayed tumor progression despite an initial multipronged treatment. Gamma Knife is used to non-invasively boost the effectiveness of radiation delivered to the hemangiopericytoma tumor.
As the nation's leading provider of Gamma Knife procedures, UPMC has treated more than 12,000 patients with tumors, vascular malformations, pain, and other functional problems.
Our team may also perform stereotactic radiosurgery using the Cyberknife and other linear accelerator-based systems.
Surgery may be followed by radiation therapy to prevent recurrence, usually localized to the postoperative site and particularly in cases where the tumor was not totally removed.
Chemotherapy is also effective for treating malignant hemangiopericytomas and is often prescribed after surgery.
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by
A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.
For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.
UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.
For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com