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Open access

Posterior fossa Hodgkin’s lymphoma radiographically mimicking an arteriovenous malformation: illustrative case

Joshua D McBriar, Kyriakos Papadimitriou, Danielle Golub, Hayley Donaldson, Jian Y Li, Pallavi Khattar, Samuel Singer, Karen S Black, and Thomas W Link

BACKGROUND

Intracranial Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) is an exceedingly rare condition that is at an increased risk of misdiagnosis and mismanagement, especially when initial radiographic evidence points to an alternative pathology.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe the case of a 75-year-old female who presented with a posterior fossa lesion initially concerning for a vascular malformation on computed tomography imaging due to perilesional hypervascularity. Subsequent angiography revealed a developmental venous anomaly (DVA) but no arteriovenous shunting. The patient’s clinical history combined with magnetic resonance imaging findings prompted a tissue biopsy, which demonstrated a rare case of central nervous system (CNS) HL. The neoangiogenesis of this CNS HL with an adjacent DVA contributed to the original radiographic misdiagnosis of an arteriovenous malformation. HL’s angiogenic potential, coupled with the proangiogenic environment induced around DVAs, may have contributed to this rare CNS HL metastasis to the cerebellum. The potential misdiagnosis of posterior fossa CNS HL has also been seen in several prior cases reviewed herein.

LESSONS

Hypervascular tumors, especially when associated with an adjacent DVA, should also be considered when first evaluating suspected intracranial vascular lesions. Although rare, CNS HL should be included in the differential diagnosis for patients with a prior history of HL.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE24238

Open access

Splenic rupture following prone lateral discectomy and arthrodesis: illustrative case

Alexandra Echevarria, Benjamin Hershfeld, Emily Arciero, and Rohit Verma

BACKGROUND

The prone lateral approach to lumbar spine surgery is known to have a multitude of potential complications, including damage to neurovascular structures, surrounding viscera, and intra-abdominal structures near the surgical site. However, iatrogenic injury to the spleen following prone lateral lumbar discectomy and arthrodesis as a potential complication has not yet been described in the literature.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 71-year-old female with a history of L3–S1 laminectomy and L3–5 arthrodesis who underwent a prone lateral discectomy of L2–3 with arthrodesis of the endplates for chronic lower-back pain. On postoperative day 1, the patient developed hypotension unresponsive to pressor medications, significant abdominal pain, and anemia requiring 2 transfusions. Bedside ultrasound revealed free fluid in the abdomen. She then underwent an exploratory laparotomy for splenic injury.

LESSONS

Although rare, splenic rupture should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis for patients with hemodynamic instability after lateral surgical approaches to the lumbar spine. Any patient with evidence of hypotension, anemia, and/or abdominal pain following lumbar surgery should be evaluated for splenic injury with an abdominal computed tomography scan and considered for surgical intervention.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE23639

Open access

Angiographic evidence of an inadvertent cannulation of the marginal sinus following central line migration: illustrative case

Abdelaziz Amllay, Edwin Owolo, Kamil W Nowicki, Nanthiya Sujijantarat, Andrew Koo, Joseph P Antonios, Daniela Renedo, Charles C Matouk, and Ryan M Hebert

BACKGROUND

Central venous catheters (CVCs) play an indispensable role in clinical practice. Catheter malposition and tip migration can lead to severe complications. The authors present a case illustrating the endovascular management of inadvertent marginal sinus cannulation after an internal jugular vein (IJV) catheter tip migration.

OBSERVATIONS

A triple-lumen CVC was inserted without complications into the right IJV of a patient undergoing a repeat sternotomy for aortic valve replacement. Two weeks postinsertion, it was discovered that the tip had migrated superiorly, terminating below the torcula in the posterior fossa. In the interventional suite, a three-dimensional venogram confirmed the inadvertent marginal sinus cannulation. The catheter was carefully retracted to the sigmoid sinus to preserve the option of catheter exchange if embolization became necessary. After a subsequent venogram, which displayed an absence of contrast extravasation, the entire catheter was safely removed. The patient tolerated the procedure well.

LESSONS

Clinicians must be vigilant of catheter tip migration and malposition risks. Relying solely on postinsertion radiographs is insufficient. Once identified, prompt management of the malpositioned catheter is paramount in reducing morbidity and mortality and improving patient outcomes. Removing a malpositioned catheter constitutes a critical step, best performed by a specialized team under angiographic visualization.

Open access

Incidental durotomy resulting in a postoperative lumbosacral nerve root with eventration into the adjacent facet joint: illustrative cases

Michael J Kelly, Franziska C. S Altorfer, Marco D Burkhard, Russel C Huang, Frank P Cammisa Jr., and J. Levi Chazen

BACKGROUND

Radicular pain after lumbar decompression surgery can result from epidural hematoma/seroma, recurrent disc herniation, incomplete decompression, or other rare complications. A less recognized complication is postoperative nerve root herniation, resulting from an initially unrecognized intraoperative or, more commonly, a spontaneous postoperative durotomy. Rarely, this nerve root herniation can become entrapped within local structures, including the facet joint. The aim of this study was to illustrate our experience with three cases of lumbosacral nerve root eventration into an adjacent facet joint and to describe our diagnostic and surgical approach to this rare complication.

OBSERVATIONS

Three patients who had undergone lumbar decompression surgery with or without fusion experienced postoperative radiculopathy. Exploratory revision surgery revealed all three had a durotomy with nerve root eventration into the facet joint. Significant symptom improvement was achieved in all patients following liberation of the neural elements from the facet joints.

LESSONS

Entrapment of herniated nerve roots into the facet joint may be a previously underappreciated complication and remains quite challenging to diagnose even with the highest-quality advanced imaging. Thus, clinicians must have a high index of suspicion to diagnose this issue and a low threshold for surgical exploration.

Open access

A rare case of atypical intradural extramedullary glioblastoma diagnosed utilizing next-generation sequencing and methylation profiling: illustrative case

William J Shelton, Andrew P Mathews, Karrar Aljiboori, J. Stephen Nix, Murat Gokden, and Analiz Rodriguez

BACKGROUND

Primary spinal cord tumors, especially primary spinal cord glioblastoma multiforme (PSC-GBM), are exceptionally rare, accounting for less than 1.5% of all spinal tumors. Their infrequency and aggressive yet atypical presentation make diagnosis challenging. In uncertain cases, a surgical approach for tissue diagnosis is often optimal.

OBSERVATIONS

A 76-year-old male presented with a rapidly progressing clinical history marked by worsening extremity weakness, urinary retention, and periodic fecal incontinence alongside diffuse changes on neuraxis imaging. The patient, in whom subacute polyneuropathy was initially diagnosed, received multiple rounds of steroids and intravenous immunoglobulin without clinical improvement. Histopathological review of the biopsy tissue yielded an initial diagnosis of spindle cell neoplasm. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is done routinely on all neuropathology specimens at the authors’ institution, and methylation profiling is pursued in difficult cases. Ultimately, NGS and methylation profiling results were essential to an integrated final diagnosis of GBM.

LESSONS

PSC-GBM is a rare but highly aggressive occurrence of this tumor. Prolonged back pain, rapid neurological decline, and imaging changes warrant the consideration of lesional biopsy for precise disease characterization. In inconclusive cases, NGS has proved invaluable for clinical clarification and diagnosis, underscoring its importance for integrated diagnoses in guiding appropriate treatment strategies.

Open access

Successful coil embolization of a ruptured pseudoaneurysm of the superior gluteal artery after a percutaneous awake robot-assisted sacroiliac joint fusion: illustrative case

Samah Morsi, Alyssa M Bartlett, Andrew A Hardigan, Mounica Paturu, Shawn W Adams, Malcolm R DeBaun, Waleska Pabon-Ramos, and Muhammad M Abd-El-Barr

BACKGROUND

Robot-assisted sacroiliac joint (SIJ) fusion has gained popularity, but it carries the risk of complications such as injury to the superior gluteal artery (SGA). The authors present the case of an awake percutaneous robot-assisted SIJ fusion leading to an SGA pseudoaneurysm.

OBSERVATIONS

An 80-year-old male, who had undergone an awake percutaneous robot-assisted SIJ fusion, experienced postoperative left hip pain and bruising. Subsequent arteriography demonstrated an SGA branch pseudoaneurysm requiring coil embolization.

LESSONS

An SGA injury, although uncommon (1.2% incidence), can arise from percutaneous screw placement, aberrant anatomy, or hardware contact. Thorough preoperative imaging, precise robot-assisted screw insertion, and soft tissue protection are crucial to mitigate risks. Immediate angiography aids in prompt diagnosis and effective intervention. Comprehensive knowledge of anatomical variants is essential for managing complications and optimizing preventative measures in robot-assisted SIJ fusion.

Open access

Immunocompetent isolated cerebral mucormycosis presenting with obstructive hydrocephalus: illustrative case

Khoa N Nguyen, Lindsey M Freeman, Timothy H Ung, Steven Ojemann, and Fabio Grassia

BACKGROUND

Isolated cerebral mucormycosis is rare in immunocompetent adults and is only sparsely reported to be associated with obstructive hydrocephalus.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors report a case of obstructive hydrocephalus secondary to central nervous system mucormycosis without other systems or rhino-orbital involvement and its technical surgical management. A 23-year-old, incarcerated, immunocompetent patient with history of intravenous (IV) drug use presented with syncope. Although clinical and radiographic findings failed to elucidate an infectious pathology, endoscopy revealed an obstructive mass lesion at the level of the third ventricle, which, on microbiological testing, was confirmed to be Rhizopus fungal ventriculitis. Perioperative cerebrospinal fluid diversion, endoscopic third ventriculostomy, endoscopic biopsy technique, patient outcomes, and the literature are reviewed here. The patient received intrathecal and IV amphotericin B followed by a course of oral antifungal treatment and currently remains in remission.

LESSONS

The patient’s unique presentation and diagnosis of isolated cerebral mucormycosis reveal this pathogen as a cause of ventriculitis and obstructive hydrocephalus in immunocompetent adult patients, even in the absence of infectious sequelae on neuroimaging.

Open access

Ruptured pial-pial collateral aneurysm associated with left internal carotid artery occlusion: nuances of surgical management. Illustrative case

Juan Silvestre G Pascual, Eddie Guo, Runze Yang, Kristopher D Langdon, Sanju Lama, and Garnette R Sutherland

BACKGROUND

Carotid occlusion often leads to the formation of a collateral network. On rare occasions, due to hemodynamic influence, aneurysms can occur. Here, the authors describe a 69-year-old male presenting with intracerebral hemorrhage secondary to a ruptured aneurysm within such a network.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient presented to the emergency department with an altered level of consciousness. Imaging showed a left temporal lobe hemorrhage extending into the ventricle, subdural hematoma, and evidence of contrast extravasation. Digital subtraction angiography revealed an occluded left internal carotid artery with the left middle cerebral artery territory reconstituted by flow through an external carotid artery–internal carotid artery anastomosis. The latter was formed by the superficial temporal artery–superior orbital artery, as well as pial-pial collaterals from the posterior temporal artery. Notably, a 4-mm aneurysm arising from the pial-pial collateral network was identified. Surgical intervention involved a left temporal craniectomy and aneurysm excision, with special attention paid to preserving the anastomotic flow through the superficial temporal artery.

LESSONS

This case underscores the importance of recognizing and preserving collateral vascular pathways in cases of carotid occlusion with an associated aneurysm. It emphasizes the necessary balance between managing aneurysm risk and maintaining cerebral perfusion, highlighting the need for careful preoperative planning and intraoperative caution.

Open access

Brainstem anesthesia during awake craniotomy: illustrative case

Yun Chen, Mei Sun, Hongmin Bai, Ruixin Yang, and Huan He

BACKGROUND

Awake craniotomy (AC) is performed to remove the lesions near or in eloquent areas, during which the patients are alert and without any airway instrument. Apnea is a severe complication in AC. Here, the authors describe a case of sudden apnea induced by unexpected local anesthesia of the brainstem during AC.

OBSERVATIONS

A 42-year-old male underwent AC for a large, recurrent, bilateral frontal lobe mass and experienced transient apnea and loss of brainstem reflexes during the surgery. The patient recovered spontaneous breath rhythm just a few minutes after the removal of a lidocaine cotton pledget, which was found near the patient’s midbrain. Then the patient awoke and cooperated to finish the surgery.

LESSONS

The administration of a local anesthetic subdurally in AC is common but risky. The scouring action of cerebral spinal fluid can spread those agents and cause unexpected brainstem anesthesia. A lower concentration of the anesthetic and keeping away from the cistern can make it safer.

Open access

The infundibulochiasmatic angle and the favorability of an endoscopic endonasal approach in type IV craniopharyngioma: illustrative case

Guilherme Finger, Maria Jose C Ruiz, Eman H Salem, Matthew D Marquardt, Kyle C Wu, Lucas P Carlstrom, Ricardo L Carrau, Luciano M Prevedello, and Daniel M Prevedello

BACKGROUND

Lesions located in the floor of the third ventricle are among the most difficult to access in neurosurgery. The neurovascular structures can limit transcranial exposure, whereas tumor extension into the third ventricle can limit visualization and access. The midline transsphenoidal route is an alternative approach to tumor invading the third ventricle if the tumor is localized at its anterior half and a working space between the optic apparatus and the pituitary infundibulum exists. The authors introduce the “infundibulochiasmatic angle,” a valuable measurement supporting the feasibility of the translamina terminalis endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) for resection of type IV craniopharyngiomas.

OBSERVATIONS

Due to a favorable infundibulochiasmatic angle measurement on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an endoscopic endonasal transsellar transtubercular approach was performed to resect a type IV craniopharyngioma. At 2-month follow-up, the patient’s neurological exam was unremarkable, with improvement in bitemporal hemianopsia. Postoperative MRI confirmed gross-total tumor resection.

LESSONS

The infundibulochiasmatic angle is a radiological tool for evaluating the feasibility of EEA when resecting tumors in the anterior half of the third ventricle. Advantages include reduced brain retraction and excellent rates of resection, with minimal postoperative risks of cerebrospinal fluid leakage and permanent pituitary dysfunction.