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Open access

Can we build better? Challenges with geospatial and financial accessibility in the Caribbean. Illustrative case

Ellianne J dos Santos Rubio, Chrystal Calderon, Annegien Boeykens, and Kee B Park

BACKGROUND

Within the Caribbean, Curaçao provides a neurosurgical hub to other Dutch Caribbean islands. At times, the inefficiency of neurosurgical referrals leads to unsatisfactory patient outcomes in true emergency cases.

OBSERVATIONS

This article reports an illustrative case of a patient in need of emergency neurosurgical care, who was referred to a tertiary health institution in Curaçao. This case highlights the challenges of timely neurosurgical referrals within the Dutch Caribbean.

LESSONS

Highlighting this case may provide a foundation for further discussions that may improve neurosurgical care and access. Limiting long-distance surgical referrals in the acute care setting will aid in saving lives.

Open access

Mesencephalic developmental venous anomaly causing obstructive hydrocephalus: illustrative case

Kota Hiraga, Shigemasa Hayashi, Ryosuke Oshima, Tatsuma Kondo, Fumiaki Kanamori, and Ryuta Saito

BACKGROUND

Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are congenital anatomical variants of the normal deep parenchymal veins. DVAs are occasionally found incidentally on brain imaging, and most cases are asymptomatic. However, they rarely cause central nervous disorders. Herein, a case of mesencephalic DVA that caused aqueduct stenosis and hydrocephalus and discuss its diagnosis and treatment is reported.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient was a 48-year-old female who presented with depression. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head revealed obstructive hydrocephalus. Contrast-enhanced MRI revealed an abnormally distended linear region with enhancement on the top of the cerebral aqueduct, which was confirmed as a DVA by digital subtraction angiography. An endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) was performed to improve the patient’s symptoms. Intraoperative endoscopic imaging showed obstruction of the cerebral aqueduct by the DVA.

LESSONS

This report describes a rare case of obstructive hydrocephalus caused by DVA. It highlights the usefulness of contrast-enhanced MRI for diagnosing cerebral aqueduct obstructions due to DVAs and the effectiveness of ETV as a treatment option.

Open access

A deceptive mass on neonatal ultrasound and a fetal brain MRI-confirmed complex dural arteriovenous fistula postnatally: illustrative case

Elliot T. Varney, Charlotte S. Taylor, Allen G. Crosthwait, Kristin Weaver, and Todd Nichols

BACKGROUND

Dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are direct, aberrant connections between dural arteries and cerebral veins. In neonates, delayed diagnosis results in grim outcomes. Treatment involves endovascular management because of its success and tolerability. Here, the authors present a case of a complex dAVF initially recognized with an in utero neurosonogram and fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

OBSERVATIONS

A 21-week fetal ultrasound of a nonspecific brain mass was confirmed with fetal MRI as a 2.7-cm T1-hyperintense posterior fossa mass. Although a large flow void in the left middle cranial fossa was present, postnatal computed tomography angiography ultimately revealed a high-flow dAVF communicating with the left transverse sinus. In the early postnatal period, the patient developed hydrocephalus. After successful partial embolization, 6-week postangiogram brain MRI indicated disease progression with the development of a venous varix causing brainstem compression. Repeat embolization resulted in complete cessation of early venous drainage.

LESSONS

Neonatal dAVFs are exceedingly rare and result in futile outcomes; however, detection in utero is possible. Although definitive therapy must be performed postnatally, constant monitoring and early delivery can prevent complications. Attention to fetal ultrasound is essential, and knowledge of fetal MRI in the detection of these complex lesions can significantly improve outcomes.

Open access

Atlantoaxial wiring hardware failure resulting in intracranial hemorrhage and hydrocephalus: illustrative case

Anass Benomar, Harrison J. Westwick, Sami Obaid, André Nzokou, Sung-Joo Yuh, and Daniel Shedid

BACKGROUND

Atlantoaxial sublaminar wiring has many known complications related to hardware failure, but intracranial hemorrhage is a rare complication.

OBSERVATIONS

A 61-year-old female patient with prior atlantoaxial sublaminar wiring for odontoid fracture nonunion experienced decreased level of consciousness due to a subarachnoid and subdural hemorrhage of the posterior fossa with intraventricular extension and hydrocephalus. Rupture of the sublaminar wire with intramedullary protrusion was the cause of the hemorrhage. The patient was treated with ventriculostomy for hydrocephalus and occipital cervical fusion for spinal instability, along with removal of the broken wire and drainage of a hematoma.

LESSONS

This uncommon cause of intracranial hemorrhage highlights an additional risk of atlantoaxial sublaminar wiring compared with other atlantoaxial fusion techniques. In addition, this case suggests cervical instrumentation failure as a differential diagnosis of subarachnoid and subdural hemorrhage of the posterior fossa when a history of prior instrumentation is known.

Open access

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

Gillian Shasby