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Enlarged tumefactive perivascular, or Virchow-Robin, spaces and hydrocephalus: do we need to treat? Illustrative cases

Belal Neyazi, Vanessa Magdalena Swiatek, Klaus-Peter Stein, Karl Hartmann, Ali Rashidi, Seraphine Zubel, Amir Amini, and I. Erol Sandalcioglu

BACKGROUND

Perivascular spaces (PVSs) are spaces in brain parenchyma filled with interstitial fluid surrounding small cerebral vessels. Massive enlargements of PVSs are referred to as “giant tumefactive perivascular spaces” (GTPVSs), which can be classified into three types depending on their localization. These lesions are rare, predominantly asymptomatic, and often initially misinterpreted as cystic tumor formations. However, there are several reported cases in which GTPVSs have induced neurological symptoms because of their size, mass effect, and location, ultimately leading to obstructive hydrocephalus necessitating neurosurgical intervention. Presented here are three diverse clinical presentations of GTPVS.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors observed an asymptomatic case of type 1 GTPVS and two symptomatic cases of type 3 GTPVS, one causing local mass effect and the other hydrocephalus.

LESSONS

GTPVSs are mostly asymptomatic lesions. Patients without symptoms should be closely monitored, and biopsy is discouraged. Hydrocephalus resulting from GTPVS necessitates surgical intervention. In these cases, third ventriculostomy, shunt implantation, or direct cyst fenestration are surgical options. For patients presenting with symptoms from localized mass effect, a thorough evaluation for potential neurosurgical intervention is imperative. Follow-up in type 3 GTPVS is recommended, particularly in untreated cases. Given the infrequency of GTPVS, definitive guidelines for neurosurgical treatment and subsequent follow-up remain elusive.

Open access

Vascular anomaly, lipoma, and polymicrogyria associated with schizencephaly: developmental and diagnostic insights. Illustrative case

Kevin K. Kumar, Angus Toland, Nancy Fischbein, Martha Morrell, Jeremy J. Heit, Donald E. Born, and Gary K. Steinberg

BACKGROUND

Schizencephaly is an uncommon central nervous system malformation. Intracranial lipomas are also rare, accounting for approximately 0.1% of brain “tumors.” They are believed to be derived from a persistent meninx primitiva, a neural crest–derived mesenchyme that develops into the dura and leptomeninges.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of heterotopic adipose tissue and a nonshunting arterial vascular malformation arising within a schizencephalic cleft in a 22-year-old male. Imaging showed right frontal gray matter abnormality and an associated suspected arteriovenous malformation with evidence of hemorrhage. Brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed right frontal polymicrogyria lining an open-lip schizencephaly, periventricular heterotopic gray matter, fat within the schizencephalic cleft, and gradient echo hypointensity concerning for prior hemorrhage. Histological assessment demonstrated mature adipose tissue with large-bore, thick-walled, irregular arteries. Mural calcifications and subendothelial cushions suggesting nonlaminar blood flow were observed. There were no arterialized veins or direct transitions from the arteries to veins. Hemosiderin deposition was scant, and hemorrhage was not present. The final diagnosis was consistent with ectopic mature adipose tissue and arteries with meningocerebral cicatrix.

LESSONS

This example of a complex maldevelopment of derivatives of the meninx primitiva in association with cortical maldevelopment highlights the unique challenges from both a radiological and histological perspective during diagnostic workup.

Open access

Extraoral anterior approach for the treatment of os odontoideum: illustrative case

Jacob M. Farrar, Mackenzie Grasso, and Rick J. Placide

BACKGROUND

Os odontoideum is typically treated with instrumented fusion through a posterior cervical approach. When this approach fails, limited options for revision are available. Occipitocervical fusion and transoral anterior fusions have been utilized in the past but are associated with high morbidity and complications.

OBSERVATIONS

Here the authors report a case of os odontoideum that was treated with an anterior cervical extraoral approach after failed posterior instrumented fusion. They discuss the challenges that can be encountered with the failure of fusion and the limited options when it comes to approach and fixation of os odontoideum.

LESSONS

To the authors’ knowledge and based on a review of the literature, this case represents the first use of an anterior extraoral prevascular approach to the high cervical spine to address os odontoideum. They demonstrate that this approach can be utilized as a reasonable alternative to transoral surgery and should be considered in cases where additional or alternative fixation is desired without the morbidity and complications associated with occipitocervical fusion or a transoral approach, especially in a younger patient population.

Open access

Torcular pseudomass in a 14-month-old child: illustrative case

Lance M. Villeneuve, Murali Nagarajan, Benjamin O. Cornwell, Laura Propester, Xiaochun Zhao, Jami Valenzuela, Joanna Gernsback, Virendra Desai, and Andrew Jea

BACKGROUND

“Torcular pseudomass,” or redundant soft tissue in the torcular region, is not an infrequent incidental finding on advanced imaging of the brain in infants and young children. It was recently codified among pediatric neuroradiologists; however, its report in the pediatric neurosurgical community has not previously been elucidated.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a 14-month-old child who presented with fever and a first-time seizure. Computed tomography of the head suggested an epidural abscess; however, magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of the lesion were consistent with torcular pseudomass, a normal variant. At the 3-month follow-up, the child was continuing to do well and had not had another seizure. There have been no indications for surgical intervention or additional radiographic surveillance.

LESSONS

The differential diagnosis for torcular pseudomass includes dural venous sinus thrombosis, dermoid cysts, occipital encephalocele, eosinophilic granuloma, and primary and metastatic tumors, such as neuroblastoma. The management of each of these disorders in the differential diagnosis may be much more invasive than continued observation in the case of torcular pseudomass. Therefore, it is important for pediatric neurosurgeons to become familiar with this developmental anomaly of the dura and occipital skull.

Open access

Presacral mature cystic teratoma associated with Currarino syndrome in an adolescent with androgen insensitivity: illustrative case

Grant Koskay, Patrick Opperman, Frank M. Mezzacappa, Joseph Menousek, Megan K. Fuller, Linden Fornoff, and Daniel Surdell

BACKGROUND

Currarino syndrome is a rare disorder that classically presents with the triad of presacral mass, anorectal malformation, and spinal dysraphism. The presacral mass is typically benign, although malignant transformation is possible. Surgical treatment of the mass and exploration and repair of associated dysraphism are indicated for diagnosis and symptom relief. There are no previous reports of Currarino syndrome in an androgen-insensitive patient.

OBSERVATIONS

A 17-year-old female patient presented with lack of menarche. Physical examination and laboratory investigation identified complete androgen insensitivity. Imaging analysis revealed a presacral mass lesion, and the patient was taken to surgery for resection of the mass and spinal cord untethering. Intraoperative ultrasound revealed a fibrous stalk connecting the thecal sac to the presacral mass, which was disconnected without the need for intrathecal exploration. The presacral mass was then resected, and pathological analysis revealed a mature cystic teratoma. Postoperatively, the patient recovered without neurological or gastrointestinal sequelae.

LESSONS

Diagnosis of incomplete Currarino syndrome may be difficult but can be identified via work-up of other disorders, such as androgen insensitivity. Intraoperative ultrasound is useful for surgical decision making and may obviate the need for intrathecal exploration during repair of dysraphism in the setting of Currarino syndrome.