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Open access

Etiology of spastic foot drop among 16 patients undergoing electrodiagnostic studies: patient series

Lisa B. E. Shields, Vasudeva G. Iyer, Yi Ping Zhang, and Christopher B. Shields

BACKGROUND

Differentiating foot drop due to upper motor neuron (UMN) lesions from that due to lower motor neuron lesions is crucial to avoid unnecessary surgery or surgery at the wrong location. Electrodiagnostic (EDX) studies are useful in evaluating patients with spastic foot drop (SFD).

OBSERVATIONS

Among 16 patients with SFD, the cause was cervical myelopathy in 5 patients (31%), cerebrovascular accident in 3 (18%), hereditary spastic paraplegia in 2 (12%), multiple sclerosis in 2 (12%), chronic cerebral small vessel disease in 2 (12%), intracranial meningioma in 1 (6%), and diffuse brain injury in 1 (6%). Twelve patients (75%) had weakness of a single leg, whereas 2 others (12%) had bilateral weakness. Eleven patients (69%) had difficulty walking. The deep tendon reflexes of the legs were hyperactive in 15 patients (94%), with an extensor plantar response in 9 patients (56%). Twelve patients (75%) had normal motor and sensory conduction, 11 of whom had no denervation changes of the legs.

LESSONS

This study is intended to raise awareness among surgeons about the clinical features of SFD. EDX studies are valuable in ruling out peripheral causes of foot drop, which encourages diagnostic investigation into a UMN source for the foot drop.

Open access

Ondine’s curse: clinical presentation with diaphragmatic pacing and spontaneous respiratory recovery. Illustrative case

Alexander J. Schupper, Alex Devarajan, Dong-Seok Lee, Enrique Perez, and Raj K. Shrivastava

BACKGROUND

The complexity of posterior fossa surgery can often lead to rare complications due to the anatomy involved. Vestibular schwannoma resection is a common pathology in the posterior fossa, often requiring surgical intervention. Given the proximity of this space to the brainstem, cranial nerve VII/VIII complex, and posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA), neurovascular complications are not infrequent. A rare vascular complication from this surgical approach is a lateral medullary infarction from injury to the lateral medullary segment of the proximal PICA, leading to central hypoventilation syndrome (CHS).

OBSERVATIONS

This report presents a unique case of a 51-year-old man who underwent a retrosigmoid craniectomy for resection of a vestibular schwannoma. Following surgery, the patient was unable to be weaned off the ventilator and was noted to become apneic while he slept, a clinical picture consistent with Ondine’s curse.

LESSONS

This report discusses the anatomical considerations of this surgical corridor leading to this complication and the management of a patient with acquired Ondine’s curse and reviews the scarce literature on this uncommon cause of acquired CHS.

Open access

Successful treatment with urgent revascularization and parent artery occlusion for a ruptured intratumoral aneurysm following prior meningioma surgery: illustrative case

Tomohiro Okuyama, Kota Kurisu, Masaaki Hokari, Kei Miyata, Kazuki Uchida, Katsuyuki Asaoka, Koji Itamoto, and Miki Fujimura

BACKGROUND

An intratumoral aneurysm encased within the associated intracranial tumor is rare, and hemorrhage caused by its rupture is even more rare. While urgent and adequate surgical treatment is important, the treatment can be difficult given the limited understanding of this rare condition.

OBSERVATIONS

A 69-year-old man who had undergone meningioma surgery 30 years prior presented with a disturbance in consciousness. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed massive intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage. A round, partially calcified mass, which was diagnosed as recurrent meningioma, was also observed. Subsequent cerebral angiography revealed that the source of the hemorrhage was an intratumoral aneurysm in the dorsal internal carotid artery (ICA) encased within the recurrent meningioma. Urgent surgical ICA trapping and high-flow graft bypass were conducted. The postoperative course was uneventful, and he was referred to another hospital for rehabilitation.

LESSONS

This is the first case report of a ruptured intratumoral aneurysm being treated with urgent combined revascularization and parent artery trapping surgery. This surgical approach may be a feasible treatment option for such a challenging condition. Additionally, this case highlights the importance of diligent long-term follow-up after skull-base surgery, as minor intraoperative vascular wall injury may trigger the development and rupture of an intracerebral aneurysm.

Open access

Collateral circulation status–guided mechanical thrombectomy in pediatric stroke with an extended ghost infarct core: illustrative case

Tian-Min Lai, Kun-Xin Lin, Ying Fu, Ling Fang, and Wen-Long Zhao

BACKGROUND

Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) has been proved to be a highly effective therapy to treat acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion. Often, the ischemic core extent on baseline imaging is an important determinant for endovascular treatment eligibility. However, computed tomography (CT) perfusion (CTP) or diffusion-weighted imaging may overestimate the infarct core on admission and, consequently, smaller infarct lesions called “ghost infarct cores.”

OBSERVATIONS

A 4-year-old, previously healthy boy presented with acute-onset, right-sided weakness and aphasia. Fourteen hours after the onset of symptoms, the patient presented with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score of 22, and magnetic resonance angiography demonstrated a left middle cerebral artery occlusion. MT was not considered because of a large infarct core (infarct core volume: 52 mL; mismatch ratio 1.6 on CTP). However, multiphase CT angiography indicated good collateral circulation, which encouraged MT. Complete recanalization was achieved via MT at 16 hours after the onset of symptoms. The child’s hemiparesis improved. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging was nearly normal and showed that the baseline infarct lesion was reversible, in agreement with neurological improvement (NIHSS score 1).

LESSONS

The selection of pediatric stroke with a delayed time window guided by good collateral circulation at baseline seems safe and efficacious, which suggests a promising value of vascular window.

Open access

Technical advantages of a novel flow diverter in complex flow diversion: patient series

Catherine Lei, Cody Heskett, Lane Fry, Aaron Brake, Frank A. De Stefano, Jeremy Peterson, and Koji Ebersole

BACKGROUND

The Surpass Streamline flow diverter (SSFD) possesses 4 attributes that may offer an important advantage in the treatment of complex pathologies: (1) utilization of an over-the-wire (OTW) delivery system, (2) greater device length, (3) larger potential diameter, and (4) propensity to open in tortuosity.

OBSERVATIONS

Case 1 leveraged device diameter to embolize a large, recurrent vertebral artery aneurysm. Angiography at 1 year posttreatment showed complete occlusion with a patent SSFD. Case 2 leveraged device length and opening in tortuosity to manage a symptomatic 20-mm cavernous carotid aneurysm. Magnetic resonance imaging at 2 years demonstrated aneurysm thrombosis and patent stents. Case 3 utilized diameter, length, and the OTW delivery system to treat a giant intracranial aneurysm previously treated with surgical ligation and a high-flow bypass procedure. Angiography at 5 months postprocedure demonstrated the return of laminar flow, as the vein graft had healed around the stent construct. Case 4 used diameter, length, and the OTW system to treat a giant, symptomatic, dolichoectatic vertebrobasilar aneurysm. Twelve-month follow-up imaging revealed a patent stent construct with no change to the aneurysm size.

LESSONS

Increased awareness of the unique attributes of the SSFD may allow a larger number of cases to be treated with the proven mechanism of flow diversion.

Open access

Delayed fatal intracranial hemorrhage in a pediatric patient following resection and adjuvant cranial radiotherapy for ependymoma: illustrative case

Matthew L. Farmer, Adam M. Conley, and Joseph F. Dilustro

BACKGROUND

Cranial radiotherapy (CRT) is an important treatment modality for malignancies of the central nervous system. CRT has deleterious effects that are commonly classified into acute, early delayed, and late delayed. Late-delayed effects include weakening of the cerebral vasculature and the development of structurally abnormal vasculature, potentially leading to ischemic or hemorrhagic events within the brain parenchyma. Such events are not well reported in the pediatric population.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 14-year-old patient 8.2 years after CRT who experienced intracerebral hemorrhage. Autopsy demonstrated minimal pathological change without evidence of vascular malformation or aneurysm. These findings were unexpected given the degree of hemorrhage in this case. However, in the absence of other etiologies, it was believed that late-delayed radiation effect was the cause of this patient’s fatal hemorrhage.

LESSONS

Although not all cases of pediatric spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage will have a determined etiology, the authors’ patient’s previous CRT may represent a poorly defined risk for late-delayed hemorrhage. This correlation has not been previously reported and should be considered in pediatric patients presenting with spontaneous hemorrhage in a delayed fashion after CRT. Neurosurgeons must not be dismissive of unexpected events in the remote postoperative period.

Open access

Using a low-metal–density stent for thrombectomy-resistant vertebrobasilar occlusion due to thrombus migration from a thrombosed vertebral artery aneurysm: illustrative case

Koji Yoshida, Yosuke Akamatsu, Shota Tsutsui, Yasushi Ogasawara, Toshinari Misaki, Hiromu Konno, and Kuniaki Ogasawara

BACKGROUND

Thrombosed intracranial aneurysms can lead to large vessel occlusion as a result of spontaneous thrombosis. Although mechanical thrombectomy is likely effective, recurrent thromboembolism can occur if the thrombotic source remains untreated. The authors describe a case of recurrent vertebrobasilar artery occlusion due to thrombus migration from a large thrombosed vertebral artery (VA) aneurysm that was successfully treated with mechanical thrombectomy followed by stenting.

OBSERVATIONS

A 61-year-old male previously diagnosed with a large, thrombosed VA aneurysm presented with right hypoesthesia. Imaging on admission showed left VA occlusion and an acute ischemic lesion in the left medial medulla. His symptoms worsened, with complete right hemiparesis and tongue deviation occurring 3 hours after admission, and mechanical thrombectomy was performed to recanalize the left-dominant VA. Despite several attempts, reocclusion of the vertebrobasilar system occurred after each mechanical thrombectomy because of repeated thrombus formation in the thrombosed aneurysm. Therefore, a low-metal–density stent was deployed to prevent thrombus migration into the parent artery, which resulted in complete recanalization and rapid improvement of the symptoms.

LESSONS

Stenting with a low-metal–density stent for recurrent embolism secondary to thrombus migration from a large thrombosed aneurysm was feasible in the acute stroke setting.

Open access

Cervical radiculopathy due to extracranial vertebral artery dissection treated by stent placement with a flow diversion effect: illustrative case

Hiroaki Matsumoto, Ikuya Yamaura, Atsushi Matsumoto, Shiro Miyata, Yusuke Tomogane, Hiroaki Minami, Atsushi Masuda, and Yasuhisa Yoshida

BACKGROUND

Cervical radiculopathy due to extracranial vertebral artery dissection (VAD) is extremely rare. The disease is usually treated with conservative treatment because of its favorable prognosis. However, there is a possibility that conservative treatment may bring about no improvement in radiculopathy. Although stent placement with a flow diversion effect may be effective in such cases, there are no reported cases that were treated with stent placement.

OBSERVATIONS

A 40-year-old healthy man presented with severe right neck pain, right arm pain, and right arm weakness after cracking his neck. A neurological examination revealed right C5 radiculopathy. Neuroimaging studies revealed right extracranial VAD. The VAD compressed the right C5 nerve root. Although medications were administered, there was no improvement in the symptoms. He experienced severe radicular pain. The authors performed stent placement with a flow diversion effect 10 days after the onset of VAD. His radicular pain improved immediately after the procedure, and the remaining radiculopathy completely improved within 1 month. Follow-up angiography showed complete improvement of the VAD.

LESSONS

Stent placement with a flow diversion effect may be considered when radiculopathy that hinders a patient’s daily life exists. Stent placement may bring about rapid improvement in radiculopathy, especially radicular pain.

Open access

Long-term hemodynamic changes in cerebral proliferative angiopathy presenting with intracranial hemorrhage: illustrative case

Takaya Saito, Kei Harada, Masahito Kajihara, Chihiro Sanbongi, and Kozo Fukuyama

BACKGROUND

Cerebral proliferative angiopathy (CPA) is a rare vascular proliferative disease; however, long-term follow-up reports are scarce. The authors report a rare case and document a patient’s medical history over 20 years.

OBSERVATIONS

A 5-year-old girl developed left frontal lobe hemorrhage, presenting with headache. At 8 years of age, angiography showed diffuse capillary ectasia without an arteriovenous shunt. Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) showed normal cerebral blood flow (CBF). She had normal growth without systemic disease. At 25 years of age, an intraventricular hemorrhage occurred, presenting with sudden headache. Angiography revealed vascular lesion enlargement, increased feeding arteries, dural supply to the nidus and peri-nidal lesion, and flow-related aneurysm. SPECT showed remarkable decreases in CBF in the nidus and peri-nidal lesion. Cerebral proliferative angiopathy (CPA) was diagnosed, and the aneurysm arising at the lateral posterior choroidal artery caused the hemorrhage. Coil embolization of the aneurysm was performed with a flow-guide catheter and extremely soft platinum coils. New aneurysms were not noted 1.5 years after the procedure.

LESSONS

This is the first report to demonstrate hemodynamic changes in CPA on angiography and SPECT over 17 years. The development of endovascular devices has enabled the embolization of ruptured aneurysms at the peripheral cerebral artery.

Open access

Intraoperative air embolism diagnosis and treatment using hyperbaric oxygen therapy after craniotomy: illustrative case

Armaan K. Malhotra, Ashton P. Chang, Joseph P. Lawton, Aderaldo Costa Alves Jr., Angela Jerath, Bourke W. Tillmann, Harry Foster, Azad Mashari, Leodante da Costa, and Ashish Kumar

BACKGROUND

This report describes the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the acute management of an intraoperative air embolism encountered during a neurosurgical procedure. Furthermore, the authors highlight the concomitant diagnosis of tension pneumocephalus requiring evacuation prior to hyperbaric therapy.

OBSERVATIONS

A 68-year-old male developed acute ST-segment elevation and hypotension during elective disconnection of a posterior fossa dural arteriovenous fistula. The semi-sitting position had been used to minimize cerebellar retraction, raising the concern for acute air embolism. Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography was utilized to establish the diagnosis of air embolism. The patient was stabilized on vasopressor therapy, and immediate postoperative computed tomography revealed air bubbles in the left atrium along with tension pneumocephalus. He underwent urgent evacuation for the tension pneumocephalus followed by hyperbaric oxygen therapy to manage the hemodynamically significant air embolism. The patient was eventually extubated and went on to fully recover; a delayed angiogram revealed complete cure of the dural arteriovenous fistula.

LESSONS

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy should be considered for an intracardiac air embolism resulting in hemodynamic instability. In the postoperative neurosurgical setting, care should be taken to exclude pneumocephalus requiring operative intervention prior to hyperbaric therapy. A multidisciplinary management approach facilitated expeditious diagnosis and management for the patient.