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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

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

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

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

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.