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Immunocompetent isolated cerebral mucormycosis presenting with obstructive hydrocephalus: illustrative case

Khoa N Nguyen, Lindsey M Freeman, Timothy H Ung, Steven Ojemann, and Fabio Grassia

BACKGROUND

Isolated cerebral mucormycosis is rare in immunocompetent adults and is only sparsely reported to be associated with obstructive hydrocephalus.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors report a case of obstructive hydrocephalus secondary to central nervous system mucormycosis without other systems or rhino-orbital involvement and its technical surgical management. A 23-year-old, incarcerated, immunocompetent patient with history of intravenous (IV) drug use presented with syncope. Although clinical and radiographic findings failed to elucidate an infectious pathology, endoscopy revealed an obstructive mass lesion at the level of the third ventricle, which, on microbiological testing, was confirmed to be Rhizopus fungal ventriculitis. Perioperative cerebrospinal fluid diversion, endoscopic third ventriculostomy, endoscopic biopsy technique, patient outcomes, and the literature are reviewed here. The patient received intrathecal and IV amphotericin B followed by a course of oral antifungal treatment and currently remains in remission.

LESSONS

The patient’s unique presentation and diagnosis of isolated cerebral mucormycosis reveal this pathogen as a cause of ventriculitis and obstructive hydrocephalus in immunocompetent adult patients, even in the absence of infectious sequelae on neuroimaging.

Open access

Endoscope-assisted far lateral craniotomy for resection of posterior fossa neurocysticercosis: illustrative case

Jerrell Fang, Christopher Banerjee, Amanda Barrett, Bruce C. Gilbert, and Martin J. Rutkowski

BACKGROUND

Neurocysticercosis is a parasitic infection that commonly affects the ventricles, subarachnoid spaces, and spinal cord of the central nervous system. The authors report an unusual manifestation of purely posterior fossa neurocysticercosis treated with endoscope-assisted open craniotomy for resection.

OBSERVATIONS

A 67-year-old male presented with 2 months of progressive dizziness, gait ataxia, headaches, decreased hearing, and memory impairment. Imaging revealed an extra-axial cystic lesion occupying the foramen magnum and left cerebellopontine angle with significant mass effect and evidence of early hydrocephalus. Gross-total resection was accomplished via a left far lateral craniotomy with open endoscopic assistance, and pathological findings were consistent with neurocysticercosis. Postoperatively, he was noted to have a sixth nerve palsy, and adjuvant therapy included albendazole. By 9 months postoperatively, he exhibited complete resolution of an immediate postoperative sixth nerve palsy in addition to all preoperative symptoms. His hydrocephalus resolved and did not require permanent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion.

LESSONS

When combined with traditional skull base approaches, open endoscopic techniques allow for enhanced visualization and resection of complex lesions otherwise inaccessible under the microscope alone. Recognition and obliteration of central nervous system neurocysticercosis can facilitate excellent neurological recovery without the need for CSF diversion.