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Cronobacter brain abscess and refractory epilepsy in a newborn: role of epilepsy surgery. Illustrative case

Meredith Yang, John Tsiang, Melissa A. LoPresti, and Sandi Lam

BACKGROUND

Neonatal meningitis due to Cronobacter is associated with powdered infant formula. Prompt recognition of this rare but aggressive infection is critical.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a unique case of neonatal Cronobacter meningoencephalitis complicated by brain abscess and status epilepticus, requiring surgical intervention in a preterm 4-week-old male and related to contaminated powdered infant formula. They discuss the medical and surgical management in this patient, as well as the role of epilepsy surgery in acute drug-resistant epilepsy. This is paired with a literature review examining Cronobacter infections in infants to provide a summative review of the existing literature.

LESSONS

Cronobacter contamination in powdered infant formula and breast pumps is rare but can cause life-threatening infections. When evaluating patients with Cronobacter central nervous system infections, serial neuroimaging, infection control, and prompt surgical management are essential. Future studies are needed regarding the role of epilepsy surgery in the acute infectious period.

Open access

Postponed depth electrode placement due to seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp: illustrative case

Heather M. Minchew, Jessica E. Ferguson, Andrew R. Guillotte, and Jennifer J. Cheng

BACKGROUND

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common fungal infection of the scalp that may potentially affect depth electrode placement for intracranial seizure monitoring. No cases documenting the safety of proceeding with depth electrode placement in the setting of seborrheic dermatitis have been reported.

OBSERVATIONS

A 19-year-old man with a history of drug-resistant epilepsy was taken to the operating room for placement of depth electrodes for long-term seizure monitoring. Annular patches of erythema with trailing scales were discovered after shaving the patient’s head. Dermatology service was consulted, and surgery was cancelled because of the uncertainty of his diagnosis and possible intracranial spreading. He was diagnosed with severe seborrheic dermatitis and treated with topical ketoconazole. Surgery was rescheduled, and the patient received successful placement and removal of depth electrodes without any complications.

LESSONS

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin infection that, in the authors’ experience, is unlikely to lead to any intracranial spread after treatment. However, surgeons should use clinical judgment and engage dermatology colleagues regarding any uncertain skin lesions.