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Open access

Neurocysticercosis of the third ventricle: illustrative case

John Choi, Grace Cullen, Dawn Darbonne, Dennis Adams, Christina Coyle, Joseph Cooper, and Harminder Singh

BACKGROUND

Neurocysticercosis is a parasitic infection of the central nervous system. Cysts located in the ventricles, intraventricular neurocysticercosis (IVNCC), can cause symptoms of increased intracranial pressure and, if untreated, can be fatal. Neuroendoscopic removal of IVNCC is recommended as the first-line treatment.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a healthy 30-year-old male originally from Mexico who presented with headaches and vomiting. He was found to have a cyst in the third ventricle on imaging, consistent with IVNCC. The authors successfully performed neuroendoscopic surgery with removal of the cyst en bloc.

LESSONS

A multidisciplinary team of neurosurgery and infectious disease specialists is recommended for successful management of patients with IVNCC. These patients typically require neuroendoscopic surgical removal for definitive treatment. In this case, the authors show surgery resulted in an effective cure without the need for antiparasitic medication and excellent long-term outcomes.

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

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

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.

Open access

Transventricular endoscopic approach to the anterior interhemispheric fissure for neurocysticercosis: illustrative cases

Mao Vásquez, Luis J. Saavedra, Hector H. García, Alejandro Apaza, Yelimer Caucha, Jorge E. Medina, Dennis Heredia, Fernando Romero, and William W. Lines-Aguilar

BACKGROUND

Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a global public health problem. It is a complex disease to manage and a cause of great morbidity and mortality in affected patients. Conventional surgical approaches have been used for many years, but currently, minimally invasive approaches are being used with good results. The authors present a case of NCC in the anterior interhemispheric fissure that was treated with a transventricular endoscopic approach.

OBSERVATIONS

A 32-year-old male patient was admitted for persistent moderate headache and dizziness. Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed multiple parenchymal, ventricular, and subarachnoid cystic lesions, especially in the anterior interhemispheric space. A transventricular endoscopic approach was selected and applied. There were no complications during surgery. Pathological analysis confirmed the diagnosis of NCC. Control MRI demonstrated the absence of cysts in the anterior interhemispheric space.

LESSONS

Minimally invasive approaches are an excellent alternative for patients with NCC, especially if a patient requires more than one surgery.