Brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) pose significant challenges to neurosurgeons because of their deep locations and high surgical risks. Most patients with brainstem CMs present with sudden-onset cranial nerve deficits or ataxia, but uncommonly patients can present in extremis from an acute hemorrhage, requiring surgical intervention. However, the timing of surgery for brainstem CMs has been a controversial topic. Although many authors propose delaying surgery into the subacute phase, some patients may not tolerate waiting until surgery. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, emergency surgery after a brainstem CM hemorrhage has not been described. In cases of rapidly progressive neurological deterioration, emergency resection may often be the only option. In this retrospectively reviewed small series of patients, the authors report favorable outcomes after emergency surgery for resection of brainstem CMs.
Correspondence Mustafa K. Baskaya, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin–Madison, School of Medicine, CSC, K4/882, 600 Highland Ave., Madison, WI 53792. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online July 7, 2017; DOI: 10.3171/2017.1.JNS161693.
Drs. Tumturk and Li contributed equally to this work.
Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.
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