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Superficial siderosis of the central nervous system with epilepsy originating from traumatic cervical injury: illustrative case

Liqing Xu, Changwei Yuan, Yingjin Wang, Shengli Shen, and Hongzhou Duan

BACKGROUND

Superficial siderosis of the central nervous system (SSCNS) is a rare condition that results from hemosiderin deposition in the brain, brainstem, cerebellum, and spinal cord as a result of chronic, repeated, and recurrent subarachnoid hemorrhage. SSCNS that originates in the spinal cord is rarely reported, and epilepsy as a manifestation of such a case has not been reported before.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors reported a rare case of SSCNS with epilepsy originating from traumatic cervical injury and presented a literature review of all reported SSCNS cases that originated in the spine. The patient was a 29-year-old man with a 16-year history of progressive headache accompanied by seizures, ataxia, and sensorineural hearing loss. He had experienced a traumatic cervical injury at age 7. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a characteristic hypointense rim around the pons and cervical spinal cord on susceptibility-weighted imaging scans. Cerebrospinal fluid examination during a headache episode confirmed subarachnoid hemorrhage and increased intracranial pressure. Surgical exploration revealed a C6 dural defect with bone spurs inserted into the dura mater. After the patient underwent dura mater repair and shunt implantation, his symptoms disappeared completely except for hearing loss.

LESSONS

This rare case indicated that symptomatic epilepsy followed by SSCNS can be eliminated by complete repair of the cervical dura mater.