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Open access

Ruptured intraventricular brain abscesses due to Fusobacterium nucleatum with obstructive hydrocephalus: illustrative case

Nina Srour, Audrey Demand, Yi Zhang, William Musick, Annette Lista, and Jiejian Lin

BACKGROUND

Fusobacterium spp. are strictly anaerobic microorganisms and normal flora of the oropharyngeal, gastrointestinal, and female genital tracts. It is commonly associated with periodontal disease, pharyngitis, mastoiditis, and tonsillitis, with a tendency to abscess formation.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a case of brain abscesses complicated by ventriculitis and obstructive hydrocephalus caused by Fusobacterium nucleatum of suspected odontogenic source. While repeated bacterial cultures remained negative, the isolate was identified using bacterial sequencing.

LESSONS

Empirical antimicrobial coverage for F. nucleatum should be considered in patients presenting with brain abscess. Genetic bacterial sequencing utilizing 16S ribosomal RNA molecular diagnostic testing may assist in microorganism identification to guide antimicrobial therapy.

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.

Open access

Postinfectious coronavirus disease 2019 hemorrhagic cerebellitis: illustrative case

Eric K. H. Chow, Barry M. Rabin, and John Ruge

BACKGROUND

Conditions that can mimic posterior fossa tumors are rare. Their identification is crucial to avoid unnecessary surgical intervention, especially when prompt initiation of medical therapy is critical.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors presented a case of pseudotumoral hemorrhagic cerebellitis in a 3-year-old boy who presented initially with headache, persistent vomiting, and decreased level of consciousness 9 weeks after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a left cerebellar hemorrhagic mass–like lesion with edema and mild hydrocephalus. The patient responded to high-dose steroids and was discharged 2 weeks later with complete recovery.

LESSONS

When evaluating patients with possible tumor syndromes, it is important to also consider rarer inflammatory syndromes that can masquerade as neoplasms. Postinfectious hemorrhagic cerebellitis is one such syndrome.

Open access

Strongyloides hyperinfection syndrome due to corticosteroid therapy after resection of meningioma: illustrative case

Víctor Rodríguez Domínguez, Carlos Pérez-López, Catalina Vivancos Sánchez, Cristina Utrilla Contreras, Alberto Isla Guerrero, and María José Abenza Abildúa

BACKGROUND

Strongyloidiasis is an underdiagnosed and preventable life-threatening disease caused by infection with the helminth Strongyloides stercoralis. Chronic asymptomatic infection can be sustained for decades, and immunosuppression can lead to disseminated infection, with a mortality rate of 70%–100%. In the neurosurgical population, corticosteroids are the most consistent cause of hyperinfection.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 33-year-old woman of Paraguayan origin who was diagnosed with sphenoid planum meningioma and treated with a high dose of corticosteroids on the basis of the diagnosis. She underwent surgery, and pathological anatomy reflected grade I meningioma. After the surgery, she started with a history of dyspnea, productive cough, fever, and urticarial rash. Later, she presented with intestinal pseudo-obstruction and bacterial meningitis with hydrocephalus. Serology was positive for Strongyloides (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), and she was diagnosed with hyperinfection syndrome. Ivermectin 200 µg/kg daily was established.

LESSONS

It may be of interest to rule out a chronic Strongyloides infection in patients from risk areas (immigrants or those returning from recent trips) before starting treatment with corticosteroids.

Open access

Erratum. Cerebral vasculopathy and strokes in a child with COVID-19 antibodies: illustrative case

Gillian Shasby

Open access

Cerebral vasculopathy and strokes in a child with COVID-19 antibodies: illustrative case

Chase H. Foster, Anthony J. Vargas, Elizabeth Wells, Robert F. Keating, and Suresh N. Magge

BACKGROUND

The ability of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to cause neurological insults in afflicted adults is becoming increasingly understood by way of an ever-growing amount of international data. By contrast, the pandemic illness’s neurological effects in the pediatric population are both poorly understood and sparsely reported.

OBSERVATIONS

In this case, the authors reported their experience with a preschool-age child with hydrocephalus who suffered multiterritory strokes presumed secondary to immune-mediated cerebral vasculopathy as a result of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection.

LESSONS

Growing evidence indicates that COVID-19 can cause neurological sequelae such as encephalitis and strokes. In this case report, the authors discussed a case of cerebral vasculopathy and strokes in a pediatric patient who was positive for COVID-19.

Open access

Subcutaneous emphysema of the neck after shunt surgery for hydrocephalus in a case of metastatic ovarian cancer: illustrative case

Smrithi Sathish, M. Manoranjitha Kumari, Shyama S. Prem, and Gopalakrishnan M. Sasidharan

BACKGROUND

A 46-year-old female, a patient with a relapsed carcinoma in her ovary, had undergone ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt surgery for obstructive hydrocephalus due to vermian metastasis. Two weeks after the shunt surgery, she complained of discomfort in the neck. There was subcutaneous emphysema along the shunt track without tenderness or signs of inflammation. She was afebrile, and her vital parameters were stable.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors ruled out pneumothorax and airway trauma as potential sources of emphysema. They tapped the shunt chamber and detected gram-negative bacilli. Ascitic fluid culture grew gas-forming Escherichia coli.

LESSONS

Although some amount of air can get trapped in the subcutaneous plane during the tunneling procedure of a VP shunt tube insertion, the reappearance of a new, large column of air along the shunt track can be an ominous sign of shunt infection. The shunt became contaminated by bacteria of gut origin, which seeded the ascitic fluid, and a florid bacterial growth ascended up the shunt track, producing gas along the subcutaneous plane. Physicians should consider this rare etiology in their differential diagnoses of subcutaneous emphysema following VP shunt surgery.