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Open access

Extracranial arteriovenous malformation mimicking a peripheral nerve tumor: illustrative case

Rahul Rodrigues, M. Harrison Snyder, Wilson Chavez, Knarik Arkun, Ozden Bulut, and Julian Wu

BACKGROUND

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are vascular malformations that are more commonly found intracranially, followed by the head, neck, limbs, and trunk. Extracranially, AVMs can mimic peripheral nerve tumors, leading to misdiagnosis.

OBSERVATIONS

A 19-year-old female, who presented with left lateral lower leg pain, was preoperatively thought to have a peripheral nerve tumor; at surgery, however, she was found to have an extracranial AVM. The distinct margins of the tumor on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging suggested that the patient might have a peripheral nerve tumor; however, the clinical symptoms of focal pain at rest and the absence of Tinel’s sign should have raised questions about this diagnosis.

LESSONS

This case highlights the difficulty in differentiating a peripheral nerve tumor from an extracranial AVM in certain clinical scenarios. It is important to use a multifaceted diagnostic approach to get a correct preoperative diagnosis and plan treatment appropriately.

Open access

Cerebral arterial vasospasm complicating supratentorial meningioma resection: illustrative cases

Andrew C Pickles, John T Tsiang, Alexandria A Pecoraro, Nathan C Pecoraro, Ronak H Jani, Brandon J Bond, Anand V Germanwala, Joseph C Serrone, and Vikram C Prabhu

BACKGROUND

Cerebral arterial vasospasm is a rare complication after supratentorial meningioma resection. The pathophysiology of this condition may be similar to vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, and treatment options may be similar.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present two cases of cerebral vasospasm after supratentorial meningioma resection and perform a systematic literature review of similar cases.

LESSONS

Cerebral arterial vasospasm after supratentorial meningioma resection may be associated with significant morbidity due to cerebral ischemia if not addressed in a timely manner. Treatment paradigms may be adopted from the management of arterial vasospasm associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Open access

Extra-axial cavernous malformations of the foramen magnum: illustrative cases

Bo-Han Yao, Da Li, Liang Wang, and Zhen Wu

BACKGROUND

Extra-axial cavernous malformations involving the foramen magnum are rare, and preoperative diagnosis becomes difficult when they mimic meningiomas.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present 2 cases of extra-axial cavernous malformations involving the foramen magnum. Surgical removal of the lesions was performed via far lateral craniotomy. The authors investigate the disease and elaborate the differential diagnosis.

LESSONS

The authors recommend that extra-axial cavernous malformations should be considered in the differential diagnosis of lesions in the foramen magnum region. Intraoperative frozen sections are helpful to the diagnosis, and resection warranted a favorable long-term outcome.

Open access

Management of a challenging dura-embedded anterior inferior cerebellar artery loop during a retrosigmoid hearing-preserving vestibular schwannoma resection: microsurgical technique and operative video. Illustrative case

Jaime L. Martínez Santos, Robert C. Sterner, and Mustafa K. Başkaya

BACKGROUND

Anatomical variants of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA), such as an anomalous “AICA loop” embedded in the dura and bone of the subarcuate fossa, increase the complexity and risk of vestibular schwannoma resections. Classically, osseous penetrating AICA loops are the most challenging to mobilize, as the dura must be dissected and the surrounding petrous bone must be drilled to mobilize the AICA away from the surgical corridor and out of harm.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a rare case of a dura-embedded, osseous-penetrating AICA loop encountered during a hearing-preserving retrosigmoid approach in which they demonstrate safe and efficient microdissection and mobilization of the AICA loop without having to drill the surrounding bone.

LESSONS

Although preoperative recognition of potentially dangerous AICA loops has been challenging, thin-sliced petrous bone computed tomography scanning and high-quality magnetic resonance imaging can be useful in preoperative diagnosis. Furthermore, this report suggests that a retrosigmoid approach is superior, as it allows early intradural recognition and proximal vascular control and facilitates more versatile mobilization of AICA loops.

Open access

Bilateral visual disturbances caused by a glomus vagale: illustrative case

Enrique Jimenez Hakim, Luis Garcia Rairan, Julian Guzman, and Yessid Araque

BACKGROUND

A glomus vagale tumor is an infrequent paraganglioma primarily characterized by auditory symptoms, cranial nerve involvement, or autonomic symptoms. However, visual involvement is not commonly observed, and to date, no cases have been reported in the literature.

OBSERVATIONS

The case involves a 62-year-old female patient with a history of right carotid body tumor resection. She presented to the emergency department with a sudden decrease in visual acuity and bitemporal hemianopsia, accompanied by a left parietal headache. Initial brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a pituitary macroadenoma, which was completely resected. However, postoperatively, the patient developed left amaurosis. Subsequent brain MRI showed the presence of hemostatic material mixed with blood in the sellar region, causing displacement of the optic chiasm. A repeat intervention was performed, identifying bleeding from both cavernous sinuses. Head and neck angiography demonstrated a right glomus vagale tumor with abundant blood drainage into the right cavernous sinus. Embolization of the glomus vagale tumor was performed, resulting in no further bleeding and improvement of symptoms.

LESSONS

The aim of this case report is to describe a rare occurrence of bilateral visual disturbances caused by bleeding in both cavernous sinuses due to venous hypertension caused by a right glomus vagale tumor.

Open access

Internal iliac artery aneurysm masquerading as a sciatic nerve schwannoma: illustrative case

Lokeshwar S. Bhenderu, Khaled M. Taghlabi, Taimur Hassan, Jaime R. Guerrero, Jesus G. Cruz-Garza, Rachel L. Goldstein, Shashank Sharma, Linda V. Le, Tue A. Dinh, and Amir H. Faraji

BACKGROUND

Schwannomas are common peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) can help to distinguish schwannomas from other types of lesions. However, there have been several reported cases describing the misdiagnosis of aneurysms as schwannomas.

OBSERVATIONS

A 70-year-old male with ongoing pain despite spinal fusion surgery underwent MRI. A lesion was noted along the left sciatic nerve, which was believed to be a sciatic nerve schwannoma. During the surgery for planned neurolysis and tumor resection, the lesion was noted to be pulsatile. Electromyography mapping and intraoperative ultrasound confirmed vascular pulsations and turbulent flow within the aneurysm, so the surgery was aborted. A formal CT angiogram revealed the lesion to be an internal iliac artery (IIA) branch aneurysm. The patient underwent coil embolization with complete obliteration of the aneurysm.

LESSONS

The authors report the first case of an IIA aneurysm misdiagnosed as a sciatic nerve schwannoma. Surgeons should be aware of this potential misdiagnosis and potentially use other imaging modalities to confirm the lesion before proceeding with surgery.

Open access

Pediatric internal auditory canal cavernous hemangioma with rapid progression of sensorineural hearing loss: illustrative case

Hiroshi Hyakusoku, Yoshihide Tanaka, Yusuke Tsuchiya, and Meijin Nakayama

BACKGROUND

Cavernous hemangioma of the internal auditory canal is extremely rare and is characterized by symptoms such as vertigo, sensorineural hearing loss, and facial nerve dysfunction.

OBSERVATIONS

A health examination on an 11-year-old female in the fifth grade revealed hearing loss in the left ear. She also had dizziness that had persisted for approximately 1 year. Pure-tone audiometry revealed sensorineural hearing loss in her left ear. Rightward horizontal and rotatory nystagmus was detected. Facial paralysis was not present. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a lesion that was suspected to be hemangioma. The authors selected a left suboccipital retrosigmoid approach. The tumor showed a berry-tufted appearance throughout the cerebellopontine angle. The seventh cranial nerve penetrated the tumor and partly circulated outside the tumor with marked adhesion. The authors partially resected the tumor to avoid damaging the facial nerve. A histological examination identified cavernous hemangioma.

LESSONS

The fundamental treatment for cavernous hemangioma of the internal auditory canal is complete surgical removal; however, any surgical intervention may result in hearing loss and facial paralysis. The extent of surgery needs to be decided intraoperatively based on the balance between preoperative symptoms and postoperative complications.

Open access

Etiology of spastic foot drop among 16 patients undergoing electrodiagnostic studies: patient series

Lisa B. E. Shields, Vasudeva G. Iyer, Yi Ping Zhang, and Christopher B. Shields

BACKGROUND

Differentiating foot drop due to upper motor neuron (UMN) lesions from that due to lower motor neuron lesions is crucial to avoid unnecessary surgery or surgery at the wrong location. Electrodiagnostic (EDX) studies are useful in evaluating patients with spastic foot drop (SFD).

OBSERVATIONS

Among 16 patients with SFD, the cause was cervical myelopathy in 5 patients (31%), cerebrovascular accident in 3 (18%), hereditary spastic paraplegia in 2 (12%), multiple sclerosis in 2 (12%), chronic cerebral small vessel disease in 2 (12%), intracranial meningioma in 1 (6%), and diffuse brain injury in 1 (6%). Twelve patients (75%) had weakness of a single leg, whereas 2 others (12%) had bilateral weakness. Eleven patients (69%) had difficulty walking. The deep tendon reflexes of the legs were hyperactive in 15 patients (94%), with an extensor plantar response in 9 patients (56%). Twelve patients (75%) had normal motor and sensory conduction, 11 of whom had no denervation changes of the legs.

LESSONS

This study is intended to raise awareness among surgeons about the clinical features of SFD. EDX studies are valuable in ruling out peripheral causes of foot drop, which encourages diagnostic investigation into a UMN source for the foot drop.

Open access

Successful treatment with urgent revascularization and parent artery occlusion for a ruptured intratumoral aneurysm following prior meningioma surgery: illustrative case

Tomohiro Okuyama, Kota Kurisu, Masaaki Hokari, Kei Miyata, Kazuki Uchida, Katsuyuki Asaoka, Koji Itamoto, and Miki Fujimura

BACKGROUND

An intratumoral aneurysm encased within the associated intracranial tumor is rare, and hemorrhage caused by its rupture is even more rare. While urgent and adequate surgical treatment is important, the treatment can be difficult given the limited understanding of this rare condition.

OBSERVATIONS

A 69-year-old man who had undergone meningioma surgery 30 years prior presented with a disturbance in consciousness. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed massive intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage. A round, partially calcified mass, which was diagnosed as recurrent meningioma, was also observed. Subsequent cerebral angiography revealed that the source of the hemorrhage was an intratumoral aneurysm in the dorsal internal carotid artery (ICA) encased within the recurrent meningioma. Urgent surgical ICA trapping and high-flow graft bypass were conducted. The postoperative course was uneventful, and he was referred to another hospital for rehabilitation.

LESSONS

This is the first case report of a ruptured intratumoral aneurysm being treated with urgent combined revascularization and parent artery trapping surgery. This surgical approach may be a feasible treatment option for such a challenging condition. Additionally, this case highlights the importance of diligent long-term follow-up after skull-base surgery, as minor intraoperative vascular wall injury may trigger the development and rupture of an intracerebral aneurysm.

Open access

Delayed fatal intracranial hemorrhage in a pediatric patient following resection and adjuvant cranial radiotherapy for ependymoma: illustrative case

Matthew L. Farmer, Adam M. Conley, and Joseph F. Dilustro

BACKGROUND

Cranial radiotherapy (CRT) is an important treatment modality for malignancies of the central nervous system. CRT has deleterious effects that are commonly classified into acute, early delayed, and late delayed. Late-delayed effects include weakening of the cerebral vasculature and the development of structurally abnormal vasculature, potentially leading to ischemic or hemorrhagic events within the brain parenchyma. Such events are not well reported in the pediatric population.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 14-year-old patient 8.2 years after CRT who experienced intracerebral hemorrhage. Autopsy demonstrated minimal pathological change without evidence of vascular malformation or aneurysm. These findings were unexpected given the degree of hemorrhage in this case. However, in the absence of other etiologies, it was believed that late-delayed radiation effect was the cause of this patient’s fatal hemorrhage.

LESSONS

Although not all cases of pediatric spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage will have a determined etiology, the authors’ patient’s previous CRT may represent a poorly defined risk for late-delayed hemorrhage. This correlation has not been previously reported and should be considered in pediatric patients presenting with spontaneous hemorrhage in a delayed fashion after CRT. Neurosurgeons must not be dismissive of unexpected events in the remote postoperative period.