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Open access

First use of intraventricular nicardipine in a pediatric patient with vasospasm secondary to meningitis: illustrative case

V. Jane Horak, Nirali Patel, Sunny Abdelmageed, Jonathan Scoville, Melissa A LoPresti, and Sandi Lam

BACKGROUND

Cerebral vasospasm is commonly associated with adult aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage but can develop in children. The standard vasospasm treatment includes induced hypertension, avoidance of hypovolemia, systemic use of the calcium channel blocker (CCB) nimodipine, and cerebral angiography for intraarterial therapy. Emerging treatments in adults, such as intraventricular CCB administration, have not been investigated in children. This study demonstrates the successful use of an intraventricular CCB in a pediatric patient with refractory vasospasm secondary to meningitis.

OBSERVATIONS

A 12-year-old female presented with Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis and ventriculitis with refractory symptomatic cerebral vasospasm. She received a 5-day course of intrathecal nicardipine through an existing external ventricular drain. Her clinical status, transcranial Doppler studies, and radiography improved. Treatment was well tolerated.

LESSONS

Pediatric vasospasm is uncommon and potentially devastating. The management of vasospasm in adults occurs frequently. Principles of this management are adapted to pediatric care given the rarity of vasospasm in children. The use of intraventricular nicardipine has been reported in the care of adults with level 3 evidence. It has not been adequately reported in children with refractory vasospasm. Here, the first use of intraventricular nicardipine in treating pediatric cerebral vasospasm in the setting of meningitis is described and highlighted.

Open access

Infantile traumatic pericallosal aneurysm: illustrative case

Zachary S Hubbard, Conor M Cunningham, Brian F Saway, Matthew J Triano, Aaron T Miller, Guilherme Porto, Libby Kosnik Infinger, and Alejandro M Spiotta

BACKGROUND

Traumatic aneurysms are a rare sequela of nonaccidental head trauma in infants. The rate of nonaccidental trauma (NAT) in the pediatric population is increasing; therefore, traumatic aneurysms are an important consideration in the evaluation of pediatric patients with abusive head trauma.

OBSERVATIONS

A 24-day-old infant with no significant past medical or birth history presented with twitching and poor oral intake for 1 day. The patient was found to have bilateral subdural hematomas, multifocal contusions, and traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. NAT work-up was remarkable for a period of repeated and prolonged abuse. Magnetic resonance angiography revealed a right pericallosal traumatic aneurysm that was treated by means of coil and Onyx embolization.

LESSONS

Traumatic intracranial aneurysms are a rare but serious sequela of pediatric abusive trauma. Traumatic intracranial aneurysms should be considered in the setting of intracranial pathology associated with high-energy trauma. Despite new methods for the management of traumatic aneurysms, this pathology remains challenging to identify and treat, and the prognosis remains poor because of the diffuse injury often involved in these patients.

Open access

Continuous direct intraarterial treatment of meningitis-induced vasospasm in a pediatric patient: illustrative case

Aubrey C Rogers, Aditya D Goyal, and Alexandra R Paul

BACKGROUND

Bacterial meningitis–induced ischemic stroke continues to cause significant long-term complications in pediatric patients. The authors present a case of severe right internal carotid artery terminus and M1 segment vasospasm in a 9-year-old with an infected cholesteatoma, which was refractory to multiple intraarterial treatments with verapamil and milrinone. This is the first report of continuous intraarterial antispasmodic treatment in a pediatric patient as well as the first report of continuous treatment in an awake and extubated patient.

OBSERVATIONS

Arterial narrowing was successfully treated by continuous direct intraarterial administration of both a calcium channel blocker (verapamil) and a phosphodiesterase-3 inhibitor (milrinone). The patient recovered remarkably well and was discharged home with no neurological deficit (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score 0) and ambulatory without assistance after 22 days. The authors report a promising outcome of this technique performed in a pediatric patient.

LESSONS

This represents a novel treatment option for the prevention of stroke in pediatric bacterial meningitis. Continuous, direct intraarterial administration of antispasmodic medications can successfully prevent long-term neurological deficit in pediatric meningitis-associated vasospasm. The described method has the potential to significantly improve outcomes in severe pediatric meningitis-associated vasospasm.

Open access

Supracerebellar infratentorial resection of a torcular lesion causing fulminant intracranial hypertension: illustrative case

Jonathan Dallas, Jessica R Lane, Benjamin S Hopkins, Melinda Chang, Mark Borchert, Nestor R Gonzalez, Peter A Chiarelli, and Jason K Chu

BACKGROUND

Venous sinus stenosis has been implicated in intracranial hypertension and can lead to papilledema and blindness. The authors report the unique case of a cerebellar transtentorial lesion resulting in venous sinus stenosis in the torcula and bilateral transverse sinuses that underwent resection.

OBSERVATIONS

A 5-year-old male presented with subacute vision loss and bilateral papilledema. Imaging demonstrated a lesion causing mass effect on the torcula/transverse sinuses and findings of increased intracranial pressure (ICP). A lumbar puncture confirmed elevated pressure, and the patient underwent bilateral optic nerve sheath fenestration. Cerebral angiography and venous manometry showed elevated venous sinus pressures suggestive of venous hypertension. The patient underwent a craniotomy and supracerebellar/infratentorial approach. A stalk emanating from the cerebellum through the tentorium was identified and divided. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging showed decreased lesion size and improved sinus patency. Papilledema resolved and other findings of elevated ICP improved. Pathology was consistent with atrophic cerebellar cortex. Serial imaging over 6 months demonstrated progressive decrease in the lesion with concurrent improvements in sinus patency.

LESSONS

Although uncommon, symptoms of intracranial hypertension in patients with venous sinus lesions should prompt additional workup ranging from dedicated venous imaging to assessments of ICP and venous manometry.

Open access

Middle meningeal artery embolization for refractory chronic subdural hematoma in a pediatric victim of nonaccidental trauma: illustrative case

Zsombor T Gal and Alfred P See

BACKGROUND

Chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) in children is associated with several etiologies, one of which is nonaccidental trauma (NAT). Performed alone or as an adjunct to surgical intervention, middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization may be effective in resolving and preventing the recurrence of cSDH in adult patients. However, MMA embolization for pediatric cSDH has not been adequately evaluated, and there exists no consensus on the appropriate selection of pediatric patients for this minimally invasive procedure. Appreciating the variable underlying pathophysiology of pediatric cSDH will enable the development of guidelines for patient selection.

OBSERVATIONS

A 14-month-old female patient presented with depressed consciousness, seizure-like activity, and apneic episodes. She was diagnosed with bilateral subacute on chronic SDH associated with NAT, and imaging revealed diffuse brain atrophy. Despite undergoing burr hole drainage, she developed refractory cSDH and was treated with bilateral MMA embolization. At her 10-month follow-up, magnetic resonance imaging revealed a decrease in the size of the subdural collections, and she was tolerating feeds, at her neurological baseline, and seizure-free.

LESSONS

Infants and young children with symptomatic cSDH secondary to NAT, whose tissue dynamics are reminiscent of cSDH in elderly patients with diffuse brain atrophy, may derive the most benefit from MMA embolization.

Open access

Ruptured brainstem arteriovenous malformation associated with a thalamoperforating artery aneurysm arising from the P1 segment of the right posterior cerebral artery: illustrative case

Yoshihito Hirata, Masakazu Okawa, Akira Ishii, Yu Abekura, Hisae Mori, Takayuki Kikuchi, Yukihiro Yamao, Susumu Miyamoto, and Yoshiki Arakawa

BACKGROUND

Cerebral aneurysms of perforating arteries are rare and can be difficult to detect on computed tomography angiography (CTA) and digital subtraction angiography. Treatment is challenging and associated with a significant risk of morbidity. Endovascular treatment of a thalamoperforating artery (TPA) aneurysm within the midbrain has not previously been reported.

OBSERVATIONS

A 13-year-old girl with no previous medical history presented with unconsciousness and anisocoria. Head computed tomography showed a right midbrain hemorrhage. CTA showed a midbrain arteriovenous malformation fed by a TPA aneurysm arising from the P1 segment of the right posterior cerebral artery. The feeder had a small distal aneurysm, which increased in size over time. Endovascular embolization was then performed.

LESSONS

Cerebral aneurysms of perforating arteries are rare and can be difficult to treat. This is the first report of the endovascular treatment of a TPA aneurysm within the midbrain. Understanding the individual patient’s brainstem perforator anatomy and the associated blood flow is essential before occluding a TPA aneurysm to avoid causing ischemia or infarction. Arteriovenous malformation embolization within the brainstem should be avoided because of interperforator anastomoses.

Open access

Vein of Galen malformations in the newborn: case series

Erik F. Hauck, Jeremy A. Yarden, Lily I. Hauck, Joseph M. Bibawy, Shervin Mirshahi, and Gerald A. Grant

BACKGROUND

Vein of Galen malformations (VoGMs) in newborns often represent life-threatening emergencies. Outcome is difficult to predict. The authors review 50 VoGM cases to correlate anatomical types with treatment and outcome.

OBSERVATIONS

Four distinct types of VoGMs are identified: mural simple (type I), mural complex (type II), choroidal (type III), and choroidal with deep venous drainage (type IV). Seven patients presented with mural simple VoGMs with a “single hole” fistula supplied by only one large feeder. These patients were treated electively at >6 months; development was normal. Fifteen patients presented with complex mural VoGMs. Multiple large feeders joined a single fistulous point within the wall of the varix. Patients typically presented with congestive heart failure (CHF) and required emergent transarterial intervention. Mortality was 7.7% with less than two-thirds developing normally. Twenty-five patients presented with choroidal VoGMs. Multiple large arterial feeders joined at multiple fistulous sites. Severe CHF in most patients required emergent transarterial and sometimes transvenous intervention. Mortality was 9.5%; two-thirds of the patients had a normal development. Three babies presented with choroidal VoGMs with deep intraventricular venous drainage. This phenomenon caused fatal “melting brain syndrome” in all three patients.

LESSONS

Recognition of the specific VoGM type determines treatment options and sets outcome expectations.

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

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

Torcular pseudomass in a 14-month-old child: illustrative case

Lance M. Villeneuve, Murali Nagarajan, Benjamin O. Cornwell, Laura Propester, Xiaochun Zhao, Jami Valenzuela, Joanna Gernsback, Virendra Desai, and Andrew Jea

BACKGROUND

“Torcular pseudomass,” or redundant soft tissue in the torcular region, is not an infrequent incidental finding on advanced imaging of the brain in infants and young children. It was recently codified among pediatric neuroradiologists; however, its report in the pediatric neurosurgical community has not previously been elucidated.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a 14-month-old child who presented with fever and a first-time seizure. Computed tomography of the head suggested an epidural abscess; however, magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of the lesion were consistent with torcular pseudomass, a normal variant. At the 3-month follow-up, the child was continuing to do well and had not had another seizure. There have been no indications for surgical intervention or additional radiographic surveillance.

LESSONS

The differential diagnosis for torcular pseudomass includes dural venous sinus thrombosis, dermoid cysts, occipital encephalocele, eosinophilic granuloma, and primary and metastatic tumors, such as neuroblastoma. The management of each of these disorders in the differential diagnosis may be much more invasive than continued observation in the case of torcular pseudomass. Therefore, it is important for pediatric neurosurgeons to become familiar with this developmental anomaly of the dura and occipital skull.