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Open access

Adaptive treatment strategy for a vestibular schwannoma in a patient with vascular Eagle syndrome: illustrative case

Nilay Karaman, Ali Haluk Düzkalir, Mehmet Orbay Askeroglu, Yunus Emre Senturk, Yavuz Samanci, and Selcuk Peker

BACKGROUND

Eagle syndrome, an uncommon condition, causes symptoms due to neural and/or vascular compression from an elongated styloid process or calcified stylohyoid ligament and can also complicate other planned surgical procedures.

OBSERVATIONS

A 42-year-old female with loss of balance, dizziness, and ataxic gait underwent cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), revealing a right-sided Koos grade IV vestibular schwannoma. Initially, a retrosigmoid craniotomy for tumor resection was planned. However, preoperative MRI and computed tomography (CT) showed a dilated right-sided mastoid emissary vein, tortuous scalp and paraspinal veins, and bilateral elongated styloid processes. CT angiography and digital subtraction angiography indicated Eagle syndrome–related compression of both internal jugular veins and concurrent occlusion of the left internal jugular vein at the jugular foramen. Consequently, given the risk of damaging venous structures, Gamma Knife radiosurgery was chosen over resection.

LESSONS

This case highlights the importance of adapting treatment plans based on patient-specific anatomical and pathological factors. In situations in which traditional surgery poses risks to sensitive structures such as the venous system, alternative approaches like radiosurgery offer safer yet effective options. Comprehensive risk-benefit evaluations are crucial for such decisions.

Open access

Management of a challenging dura-embedded anterior inferior cerebellar artery loop during a retrosigmoid hearing-preserving vestibular schwannoma resection: microsurgical technique and operative video. Illustrative case

Jaime L. Martínez Santos, Robert C. Sterner, and Mustafa K. Başkaya

BACKGROUND

Anatomical variants of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA), such as an anomalous “AICA loop” embedded in the dura and bone of the subarcuate fossa, increase the complexity and risk of vestibular schwannoma resections. Classically, osseous penetrating AICA loops are the most challenging to mobilize, as the dura must be dissected and the surrounding petrous bone must be drilled to mobilize the AICA away from the surgical corridor and out of harm.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a rare case of a dura-embedded, osseous-penetrating AICA loop encountered during a hearing-preserving retrosigmoid approach in which they demonstrate safe and efficient microdissection and mobilization of the AICA loop without having to drill the surrounding bone.

LESSONS

Although preoperative recognition of potentially dangerous AICA loops has been challenging, thin-sliced petrous bone computed tomography scanning and high-quality magnetic resonance imaging can be useful in preoperative diagnosis. Furthermore, this report suggests that a retrosigmoid approach is superior, as it allows early intradural recognition and proximal vascular control and facilitates more versatile mobilization of AICA loops.

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

Pial brainstem artery arteriovenous malformation with flow-related intracanalicular aneurysm masquerading as vestibular schwannoma: illustrative case

David D. Liu, David B. Kurland, Aryan Ali, John G. Golfinos, Erez Nossek, and Howard A. Riina

BACKGROUND

Lesions of the internal auditory canal presenting with partial hearing loss are almost always vestibular schwannomas (VSs). Intracanalicular anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) aneurysms are extremely rare but can mimic VS based on symptoms and imaging. The authors report the case of a flow-related intracanalicular AICA aneurysm from a pial brainstem arteriovenous malformation (AVM) masquerading as VS.

OBSERVATIONS

A 57-year-old male with partial left-sided hearing loss and an intracanalicular enhancing lesion was initially diagnosed with VS and managed conservatively at an outside institution with surveillance imaging over 3 years. When he was referred for VS follow-up, new imaging raised radiological suspicion for vascular pathology. Cerebral angiography revealed a small pial AVM located at the trigeminal root entry zone with an associated flow-related intracanalicular AICA aneurysm. The AVM was obliterated with open surgery, during which intraoperative angiography confirmed no AVM filling, preservation of the AICA, and no further aneurysm filling.

LESSONS

Intracanalicular AICA aneurysms and other lesions, including cavernous malformations, can mimic radiographic features of VS and present with hearing loss or facial weakness. Modern vascular neurosurgical techniques such as endovascular intervention and open surgery in a hybrid operating room allowed definitive management of both lesions without untoward morbidity.