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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

Magnetic resonance imaging–derived relative cerebral blood volume characteristics in a case of pathologically confirmed neurocysticercosis: illustrative case

Nada E Botros, David Polinger-Hyman, Ryan T Beck, Christopher Kleefisch, E. Kelly S Mrachek, Jennifer Connelly, Kathleen M Schmainda, and Max O Krucoff

BACKGROUND

Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a parasitic infection of the brain caused by ingesting water or food contaminated with tapeworm eggs. When it presents as a solitary mass, differentiation from a primary brain tumor on imaging can be difficult. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) is a newer imaging technique used to identify areas of neovascularization in tumors, which may advance the differential diagnosis.

OBSERVATIONS

A 25-year-old male presented after a seizure. Computed tomography (CT) and MRI demonstrated a partially enhancing lesion with microcalcifications and vasogenic edema. Follow-up rCBV assessment demonstrated mild hyperperfusion and/or small vessels at the lesional margins consistent with either an intermediate grade glioma or infection. Given the radiological equipoise, surgical accessibility, and differential diagnosis including primary neoplasm, metastatic disease, NCC, and abscess, resection was pursued. The calcified mass was excised en bloc and was confirmed as larval-stage NCC.

LESSONS

CT or MRI may not always provide sufficient information to distinguish NCC from brain tumors. Although reports have suggested that rCBV may aid in identifying NCC, here the authors describe a case of pathologically confirmed NCC in which preoperative, qualitative, standardized rCBV findings raised concern for a primary neoplasm. This case documents the first standardized rCBV values reported in a pathologically confirmed case of NCC in the United States.

Open access

Combined endoscopic and microsurgical approach for the drainage of a multisegmental thoracolumbar epidural abscess: illustrative case

Vincent Hagel, Felix Dymel, Stephan Werle, Vera Barrera, and Mazda Farshad

BACKGROUND

Spinal epidural abscess is a rare but serious infectious disease that can rapidly develop into a life-threatening condition. Therefore, the appropriate treatment is indispensable. Although conservative treatment is justifiable in certain cases, surgical treatment needs to be considered as an alternative early on because of complications such as (progressive) neurological deficits or sepsis. However, traditional surgical techniques usually include destructive approaches up to (multilevel) laminectomies. Such excessive approaches do have biomechanical effects potentially affecting the long-term outcomes. Therefore, minimally invasive approaches have been described as alternative strategies, including endoscopic approaches.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe a surgical technique involving a combination of two minimally invasive approaches (endoscopic and microsurgical) to drain a multisegmental (thoracolumbar) abscess using the physical phenomenon of continuous pressure difference to minimize collateral tissue damage.

LESSONS

The combination of minimally invasive approaches, including the endoscopic technique, may be an alternative in draining selected epidural abscesses while achieving a similar amount of abscess removal and causing less collateral approach damage in comparison with more traditional techniques.

Open access

Pedicle subtraction metallectomy with complex posterior reconstruction for fixed cervicothoracic kyphosis: illustrative case

Harman Chopra, José Manuel Orenday-Barraza, Alexander E. Braley, Alfredo Guiroy, Olivia E. Gilbert, and Michael A. Galgano

BACKGROUND

Iatrogenic cervical deformity is a devastating complication that can result from a well-intended operation but a poor understanding of the individual biomechanics of a patient’s spine. Patient factors, such as bone fragility, high T1 slope, and undiagnosed myopathies often play a role in perpetuating a deformity despite an otherwise successful surgery. This imbalance can lead to significant morbidity and a decreased quality of life.

OBSERVATIONS

A 55-year-old male presented to the authors’ clinic with a chin-to-chest deformity and cervical myelopathy. He previously had an anterior C2–T2 fixation and a posterior C1–T6 instrumented fusion. He subsequently developed screw pullout at multiple levels, so the original surgeon removed all of the posterior hardware. The T1 cage (original corpectomy) severely subsided into the body of T2, generating an angular kyphosis that eventually developed a rigid osseous circumferential union at the cervicothoracic junction with severe cord compression. An anterior approach was not feasible; therefore, a 3-column osteotomy/fusion in the upper thoracic spine was planned whereby 1 of the T2 screws would need to be removed from a posterior approach for the reduction to take place.

LESSONS

This case highlights the devastating effect of a hardware complication leading to a fixed cervical spine deformity and the complex decision making involved to safely correct the challenging deformity and restore function.

Open access

Trigeminal neuralgia secondary to vascular compression and neurocysticercosis: illustrative case

Mao Vásquez, Luis J. Saavedra, Hector H. García, Evelyn Vela, Jorge E. Medina, Miguel Lozano, Carlos Hoyos, and William W. Lines-Aguilar

BACKGROUND

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a frequent neurosurgical problem negatively influencing the quality of life of patients. The standard surgical treatment is microvascular decompression for primary cases and decompression of the mass effect, mainly tumors, for secondary cases. Neurocysticercosis (NCC) in the cerebellopontine angle is a rare etiology of TN. The authors report a case in which NCC cysts around the trigeminal nerve coexisted with a vascular loop, which compressed the exit of the trigeminal nerve from the pons.

OBSERVATIONS

A 78-year-old woman presented with a 3-year history of persistent severe pain in the left side of her face, refractory to medical treatment. On gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, cystic lesions were observed around the left trigeminal nerve and a vascular loop was also present and in contact with the nerve. A retrosigmoid approach for cyst excision plus microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve was successfully performed. There were no complications. The patient was discharged without facial pain.

LESSONS

Albeit rare, TN secondary to NCC cysts should be considered in the differential diagnosis in NCC-endemic regions. In this case, the cause of the neuralgia was probably both problems, because when both were treated, the patient improved.

Open access

Management of refractory bacterial meningitis–associated cerebral vasospasm: illustrative case

Sofya Norman, Jon Rosenberg, Sri Hari Sundararajan, Ali Al Balushi, Srikanth Reddy Boddu, and Judy H. Ch’ang

BACKGROUND

Cerebral vasospasm is an alarming complication of acute bacterial meningitis with potentially devastating consequences. It is essential for providers to recognize and treat it appropriately. Unfortunately, there is no well-established approach to the management of postinfectious vasospasm, which makes it especially challenging to treat these patients. More research is needed to address this gap in care.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors describe a patient with postmeningitis vasospasm that was refractory to induced hypertension, steroids, and verapamil. He eventually responded to a combination of intravenous (IV) and intra-arterial (IA) milrinone followed by angioplasty.

LESSONS

To our knowledge, this is the first report of successfully using milrinone as vasodilator therapy in a patient with postbacterial meningitis-associated vasospasm. This case supports the use of this intervention. In future cases of vasospasm after bacterial meningitis, IV and IA milrinone should be trialed earlier with consideration of angioplasty.

Open access

Cerebrospinal fluid fistula as a complication of reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction collection for the detection of coronavirus disease 2019: illustrative cases

Lucca B. Palavani, Camila V. F. Andrade, Renato A. Andrade, Egmond Alves, Marcio Falchi Barros, and João F. Barbieri

BACKGROUND

The most used method to detect coronavirus disease 2019 during the pandemic is reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction with nasal swab. Despite being highly effective, the test does not leave the patient risk-free and can lead to serious complications. These can be traumatic nasal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistula and its consequences, such as meningitis.

OBSERVATIONS

In this article, the authors present 4 case reports and a literature review. The following MeSH terms in the research were used: “CSF leak case report and covid 19.” Six results were found and after searching the references and keywords 16 articles were identified. By using them, the authors tried to clarify the etiology of the fistula, its influences, and complications.

LESSONS

The authors conclude that professionals must receive training, since CSF fistula originates from technical failure and lack of anatomical knowledge. The diagnosis cannot be neglected because it can bring complications to the patient’s health.

Open access

Endoscopic endonasal resection of craniovertebral junction osteomyelitis: illustrative cases

Alexander Keister, Joshua Vignolles-Jeong, Daniel Kreatsoulas, Kyle VanKoevering, Stephanus Viljoen, Daniel Prevedello, and Andrew J. Grossbach

BACKGROUND

Operative management of craniovertebral junction (CVJ) osteomyelitis has traditionally been extracranial and focused on debriding the infection. In select patients, the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) with a focus on additional resection versus debridement may be preferred. The goal of this study is to present the authors’ experience with the EEA with gross or subtotal resection for the treatment of osteomyelitis at the CVJ and describe their technique in the context of the literature.

OBSERVATIONS

Two patients of the authors’ and 6 detailed case reports in the literature were identified with a mean age of 58.9 years. Most patients (n = 5; 62.5%) underwent skull base surgery and debridement (n = 5; 62.5%). Although more common, debridement was inferior to resection in terms of neurological improvement (66.7% vs. 100.0%) postoperatively. The majority (n = 7; 87.5%) of patients underwent occipitocervical fusion.

LESSONS

Osteomyelitis is an exceedingly rare lesion of the CVJ. Despite the region’s delicate biomechanical stability, resection of infected bone may be superior to debridement alone in terms of clinical outcome. Given how well established the safety of the EEA is to this region, further study of outcomes with resection is warranted.

Open access

En bloc resection of a high cervical chordoma followed by reconstruction with a free vascularized fibular graft: illustrative case

Zachariah W. Pinter, Eric J. Moore, Peter S. Rose, Ahmad N. Nassr, and Bradford L. Currier

BACKGROUND

Wide excision of chordoma provides better local control than intralesional resection or definitive radiotherapy. The en bloc excision of high cervical chordomas is a challenging endeavor because of the complex anatomy of this region and limited reconstructive options.

OBSERVATIONS

This is the first case report to describe reconstruction with a free vascularized fibular graft following the en bloc excision of a chordoma involving C1–3.

LESSONS

This report demonstrates the durability of this construct at 10-year follow-up and is the first case report demonstrating satisfactory long-term oncological outcomes after a true margin-negative resection of a high cervical chordoma.

Open access

Traumatic posterior atlantoaxial dislocation without fracture of the odontoid process: illustrative case

Huan-Dong Liu, Ning Li, Wei Miao, Zheng Su, and Hui-Lin Cheng

BACKGROUND

Traumatic posterior atlantoaxial dislocation without fracture of the odontoid process is extremely rare. Only 24 cases have been documented since the first patient was reported by Haralson and Boyd in 1969. Although various treatment strategies are reported, no consensus has been yielded.

OBSERVATIONS

A 58-year-old man experienced loss of consciousness and breathing difficulties after being struck by a car from behind. An immediate computed tomography scan showed subarachnoid hemorrhage, a posterior atlantoaxial dislocation without C1–2 fracture, and a right tibiofibular fracture. After the patient’s respiration and hemodynamics were stabilized, closed reduction was attempted. However, this strategy failed due to unbearable neck pain and quadriplegia, resulting in surgical intervention with transoral odontoidectomy and posterior occipitocervical fusion. The patient developed postoperative central nervous system infection. After anti-infective and drainage treatment, the infection was controlled. At 1-year follow-up, the patient did not complain of special discomfort and was generally in good condition.

LESSONS

The authors report their experience with transoral odontoidectomy and concomitant posterior occipitocervical fusion in a case of posterior atlantoaxial dislocation without related fracture. Although these procedures are highly feasible and effective, particular attention should be paid to their complications, such as postoperative infection.