Intracranial extramedullary hematopoiesis in a patient with beta-thalassemia presenting with head trauma

Noah M. Nichols, Ashia M. Hackett, Alejandro Carrasquilla, Paul Solodnik, Hang Byun, Salazar Jones, Zachary L. Hickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Beta-thalassemia is an inherited hemoglobinopathy, whereby reduced or absent expression of beta-globin genes causes impaired erythropoiesis. Extramedullary hematopoiesis (EMH) occurs in 1% of all patients with beta-thalassemia major receiving regular transfusions and is exceedingly rare intracranially. Case Description: We report a case of a male in his 20s with beta thalassemia who presented with head trauma found to have intracranial EMH mimicking multiple extra-axial hematomas. Making the correct diagnosis was critical in avoiding prolonged neuromonitoring and unnecessary interventions. Conclusion: Intracranial extramedullary hematopoietic pseudotumor is an exceedingly rare entity and seldom appears in a neurosurgeon's differential diagnosis. This case illustrates how this condition can easily mimic an acute intracranial hemorrhage in a patient with beta-thalassemia who presents with head trauma. We review the topic to further inform clinicians who may encounter this condition in their practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA14
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - 2022


  • Case report
  • Epidural hematoma
  • Extramedullary hematopoiesis
  • Thalassemia
  • Traumatic brain injury


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