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Open access

Bifocal germ cell tumor of pineal germinoma and neurohypophyseal embryonal carcinoma: illustrative case

Yu Naruse, Shinya Jinguji, Ryo Hiruta, Ayako Toda, Kenichiro Nagai, Shingo Kudo, Hideki Sano, Rei Sekine, Osamu Suzuki, Mudathir Bakhit, and Masazumi Fujii

BACKGROUND

Bifocal germ cell tumors, with primarily identical tissue composition, occur concurrently in the neurohypophyseal and pineal regions.

OBSERVATIONS

A 16-year-old male patient exhibited increased intracranial pressure symptoms, with concurrent tumors in the pineal and neurohypophyseal regions, causing obstructive hydrocephalus. His serum human chorionic gonadotropin level was elevated, measuring 506.6 mIU/mL. Upon gross endoscopic examination, the pineal tumor appeared white, whereas the neurohypophyseal tumor appeared red and hemorrhagic. Because of the limited sample size of the latter, a frozen section biopsy was feasible only for the pineal lesion, which indicated the presence of a germinoma. Subsequently, carboplatin and etoposide were administered, resulting in the reduction of the pineal tumor, but no effect was observed in the neurohypophyseal tumor. Histopathological analysis confirmed the pineal lesion as a germinoma, whereas the neurohypophyseal lesion was an embryonal carcinoma. Thus, the treatment was altered to ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide (ICE), leading to a response in both tumors. The patient underwent three additional cycles of ICE therapy and high-dose chemotherapy, followed by whole craniospinal irradiation, achieving complete remission.

LESSONS

Although most bifocal germ cell tumors share the same histological tissue, occasional differences may arise, necessitating separate biopsies for accurate assessment.

Open access

Rare variant of large pediatric glioneuronal tumor with novel MYO5A::NTRK3 fusion: illustrative case

David Chenoweth, Hashim Syed, Nahom Teferi, Meron Challa, Jane E Persons, Kathryn L Eschbacher, Maggie Seblani, and Brian J Dlouhy

BACKGROUND

Glioneuronal tumors (GNTs) comprise a rare class of central nervous system (CNS) neoplasms with varying degrees of neuronal and glial differentiation that predominately affect children and young adults. Within the current 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of CNS tumors, GNTs encompass 14 distinct tumor types. Recently, the use of whole-genome DNA methylation profiling has allowed more precise classification of this tumor group.

OBSERVATIONS

A 3-year-old male presented with a 3-month history of increasing head circumference, regression of developmental milestones, and speech delay. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain was notable for a large left hemispheric multiseptated mass with significant mass effect and midline shift that was treated with near-total resection. Histological and molecular assessment demonstrated a glioneuronal tumor harboring an MYO5A::NTRK3 fusion. By DNA methylation profiling, this tumor matched to a provisional methylation class known as “glioneuronal tumor kinase-fused” (GNT kinase-fused). The patient was later started on targeted therapy with larotrectinib.

LESSONS

This is the first report of an MYO5A::NTRK3 fusion in a pediatric GNT. GNT kinase-fused is a provisional methylation class not currently included in the WHO classification of CNS tumors. This case highlights the impact of thorough molecular characterization of CNS tumors, especially with the increasing availability of novel gene targeting therapies.

Open access

Successful surgical management of a superior cerebellar artery aneurysm in a patient with Marfan syndrome: illustrative case

Fangjun Liu, Mengqing Hu, Daling Ruan, Xiaoling Ruan, Ting Lei, and Xiang’en Shi

BACKGROUND

Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, poses unique challenges in neurosurgery, given the fragility of vascular structures. Superior cerebellar artery (SCA) aneurysms in patients with the syndrome are rare and present distinct surgical difficulties, necessitating innovative approaches.

OBSERVATIONS

A 29-year-old male with Marfan syndrome presented with a subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured SCA aneurysm. Given the lack of a defined aneurysm neck and the small diameter of the SCA, standard clipping and endovascular therapies were unsuitable. A microsurgical approach using microsutures was successfully employed, effectively managing the aneurysm while preserving the parent artery.

LESSONS

This case underscores the efficacy of the microsuture technique in complex neurosurgical scenarios, particularly in patients with connective tissue disorders such as Marfan syndrome. The adaptability of surgical strategies, as demonstrated in this case, is crucial for achieving successful outcomes in patients with unique anatomical challenges.

Open access

Treatment of an anterior cervicothoracic myelomeningocele together with spine deformity correction in a child: illustrative case

Hudin N Jackson, Nealen Laxpati, and David F Bauer

BACKGROUND

Anterior cervicothoracic myelomeningoceles are a rare pathology. In reported cases, treatment has included shunting, isolated resection and repair without deformity correction, or isolated deformity correction without meningocele repair. The authors describe a pediatric patient with an anterior cervicothoracic myelomeningocele presenting with progressive neurological decline, who underwent simultaneous treatment of the myelomeningocele to detether the spinal cord and achieve major correction of the scoliotic deformity.

OBSERVATIONS

A 15-year-old girl was born with C7-T1-T2 hemivertebrae and anterior cervical myelomeningocele at C7–T1. She developed progressive cervical thoracic scoliosis, left hemiparesis initially, and additional right hemiparesis eventually. She underwent surgical repair via C7, T1, and T2 corpectomies with intradural detethering of the spinal cord. The scoliosis was treated with C7–T2 Ponte osteotomies and C2–T5 posterior fixation, followed by anterior reconstruction with a titanium cage and anterior plate from C6 to T3. The myelomeningocele was adequately treated with good correction of the patient’s deformity. The patient had postoperative improvement in her strength and solid arthrodesis on postoperative imaging.

LESSONS

The authors describe the successful treatment of an anterior cervicothoracic myelomeningocele and associated scoliosis in a child. This is a unique report of a combined strategy to achieve both deformity correction and detethering of the spinal cord.

Open access

A vertebrobasilar junction aneurysm successfully treated with a combination of surgical clipping and flow diverter placement based on the results of computational fluid dynamics analysis: illustrative case

Tatsuya Mori, Hidehito Kimura, Atsushi Fujita, Kosuke Hayashi, Tatsuo Hori, Masahiro Sugihara, Yusuke Ikeuchi, Masaaki Kohta, Akio Tomiyama, and Takashi Sasayama

BACKGROUND

The treatment of vertebrobasilar junction (VBJ) aneurysms is challenging. Although flow diverters (FDs) are a possible treatment option, geometrical conditions hinder intervention. VBJ aneurysms possess dual inflow vessels from the bilateral vertebral arteries (VAs), one of which is ideally occluded prior to FD treatment. However, it remains unclear which VA should be occluded.

OBSERVATIONS

A 75-year-old male with a growing VBJ complex aneurysm exhibiting invagination toward the brainstem and causing perifocal edema required intervention. Preoperative computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis demonstrated that left VA occlusion would result in more stagnant flow and less impingement of flow than right VA occlusion. According to the simulated strategy, surgical clipping of the left VA just proximal to the aneurysm was performed, followed by FD placement from the basilar artery trunk to the right VA. The patient demonstrated tolerance of the VA occlusion, and follow-up computed tomography angiography at 18 months after FD treatment confirmed the disappearance of the aneurysm.

LESSONS

Preoperative flow dynamics simulations using CFD analysis can reveal an optimal treatment strategy involving a hybrid surgery that combines FD placement and direct surgical occlusion for a VBJ complex aneurysm.

Open access

Compressive myelopathy from diffuse spinal dural calcifications in a patient with end-stage renal disease: illustrative case

Alexis Malecki, Jacob Pawloski, Anthony Anzalone, Kelly Shaftel, Hassan Ali Fadel, and Ian Lee

BACKGROUND

Diffuse spinal dural calcification is a rare disorder associated with hyperparathyroidism, including the secondary forms associated with renal failure, osteodystrophy, and chronic hypocalcemia. Here, the authors report a rare case of diffuse dural calcification causing spinal cord compression with myelopathy, requiring decompressive surgery with duraplasty to achieve adequate decompression.

OBSERVATIONS

A 46-year-old male with a history of renal failure on dialysis presented with 2 months of progressive neuropathic pain, lower-extremity weakness, and nonsustained clonus. Spine imaging showed severe renal osteodystrophy with multilevel compression fractures and diffuse dural calcifications with areas of invagination causing severe spinal cord compression. Decompressive surgery was recommended. In surgery, a thickened and calcified dura was encountered with areas of buckling causing spinal cord compression. The invaginated area of the dura was resected and reconstructed with patch duraplasty. The patient’s neurological status remained unchanged postoperatively, and at the 6-month follow-up, the patient reported significant improvement in pain and muscle spasms.

LESSONS

Diffuse dural calcifications are a rare complication of prolonged dialysis and secondary hyperparathyroidism. When there is resultant spinal cord compression, this condition requires an intradural approach that addresses the thickened, calcified dura directly to obtain adequate spinal cord decompression.

Open access

Fluorescence and immune-cell infiltration of nonneoplastic, postbrachytherapy brain tissue in 5-ALA–guided resection of recurrent anaplastic meningioma: illustrative case

Rishab Ramapriyan, Victoria E Clark, 1 PhD, Maria Martinez-Lage, Brian Hsueh, 1 PhD, Brian V Nahed, 1 MSc, William T Curry, Bryan D Choi, 1 PhD, Bob S Carter, and 1 PhD

BACKGROUND

5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence-guided surgery is a well-established technique for resecting high-grade gliomas. However, its application in meningiomas, especially those previously treated with radiation therapy, remains under investigation.

OBSERVATIONS

A 48-year-old female with recurrent anaplastic meningioma, World Health Organization grade 3, underwent a right-sided craniotomy using off-label 5-ALA as a surgical adjunct. The patient had previously undergone brachytherapy seed implantation (20 × cesium 131) for tumor management. During the surgery, a large fluorescent tumor mass adjacent to the brachytherapy-treated area was resected, and the prior brachytherapy seeds were removed. Interestingly, the surrounding brain tissue in the irradiated area showed robust 5-ALA fluorescence. Pathological examination confirmed that the fluorescent brain tissue was nonneoplastic and associated with lymphocyte and macrophage infiltration.

LESSONS

This case report presents unique 5-ALA fluorescence in nonneoplastic tissue following brachytherapy, which was found during the resection of recurrent anaplastic meningioma. This phenomenon may reflect an intricate interplay among radiation therapy, immune cells, the tumor microenvironment, and 5-ALA metabolism. Given that false-positive findings in fluorescence-guided surgery can lead to unnecessary tissue resection and increased surgical morbidity, further research is warranted to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon and its implications for meningioma surgery.

Open access

“Open-window” craniectomy for the removal of frontal sinus mucosa to prevent a delayed mucocele: illustrative case

W. Caleb Rutledge, 1 2 MS, Ahmad Ozair, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, Brian Niehaus, and Michael W. McDermott

BACKGROUND

Frontal craniotomies for a medial subfrontal approach necessitate crossing the frontal sinus. Large superior extensions of the frontal sinus into frontal bone can result in mucosal retention in a free craniotomy bone flap, leading to a delayed mucocele with significant associated morbidity. The authors describe an “open-window” craniectomy technique that permits mucosal removal under direct vision and maintains the inner table on the bone flap’s inferior side, helping to seal off the sinus opening with a pericranial flap.

OBSERVATIONS

An illustrative case involving a medial right frontal craniotomy for a third ventricle mass in a patient with a large superior extension of the frontal sinus into frontal bone is presented. After creating a free frontal bone flap, the inner table was drilled out to the margins of the frontal sinus cavity and any remaining mucosa was cleared. A portion of the inner table above the bone flap’s inferior margin was left in place, resembling an open window when viewed from the inner table side. The remaining anterior and posterior wall of the flap inferiorly provided a matched surface for the opening into the remaining frontal sinus, which was covered by pericranium. Long-term follow-up indicated no major complications or delayed mucocele.

LESSONS

The open-window craniectomy technique can be considered for frontal sinus violations in patients with large superior frontal bone extension.

Open access

Significance of upper cervical epidural venous engorgement on head computed tomography in the initial diagnosis of spontaneous intracranial hypotension: patient series

Toshihide Takahashi, Kiyoyuki Yanaka, Hitoshi Aiyama, Minami Saura, Michihide Kajita, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Kuniyuki Onuma, and Eiichi Ishikawa

BACKGROUND

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a rare condition characterized by positional headache, for which contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the preferred diagnostic method. Although MRI reveals characteristic findings, head computed tomography (CT) is usually the first diagnostic step, but identifying features of SIH on CT is often difficult. This study was specifically designed to evaluate the utility of head CT in detecting upper cervical epidural venous engorgement as a sign of SIH.

OBSERVATIONS

Of 24 patients with SIH diagnosed between March 2011 and May 2023, 10 did not undergo upper cervical CT. In the remaining 14 patients, engorgement of the upper cervical epidural venous plexus was observed. CT detection rates were consistent with MRI for spinal fluid accumulation or dural thickening. After treatment, in 92.9% of patients, the thickness of the epidural venous plexus decreased statistically significantly from 4.8 ± 1.3 mm to 3.6 ± 1.2 mm.

LESSONS

This study suggests that upper cervical spine CT focused on epidural venous engorgement may be helpful in the initial diagnosis of SIH and may complement conventional MRI evaluation. Extending CT imaging to the upper cervical spine will improve the diagnostic accuracy of patients with positional headaches suspected to be SIH.

Open access

Brainstem anesthesia during awake craniotomy: illustrative case

Yun Chen, Mei Sun, Hongmin Bai, Ruixin Yang, and Huan He

BACKGROUND

Awake craniotomy (AC) is performed to remove the lesions near or in eloquent areas, during which the patients are alert and without any airway instrument. Apnea is a severe complication in AC. Here, the authors describe a case of sudden apnea induced by unexpected local anesthesia of the brainstem during AC.

OBSERVATIONS

A 42-year-old male underwent AC for a large, recurrent, bilateral frontal lobe mass and experienced transient apnea and loss of brainstem reflexes during the surgery. The patient recovered spontaneous breath rhythm just a few minutes after the removal of a lidocaine cotton pledget, which was found near the patient’s midbrain. Then the patient awoke and cooperated to finish the surgery.

LESSONS

The administration of a local anesthetic subdurally in AC is common but risky. The scouring action of cerebral spinal fluid can spread those agents and cause unexpected brainstem anesthesia. A lower concentration of the anesthetic and keeping away from the cistern can make it safer.