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Open access

Neurocysticercosis of the third ventricle: illustrative case

John Choi, Grace Cullen, Dawn Darbonne, Dennis Adams, Christina Coyle, Joseph Cooper, and Harminder Singh

BACKGROUND

Neurocysticercosis is a parasitic infection of the central nervous system. Cysts located in the ventricles, intraventricular neurocysticercosis (IVNCC), can cause symptoms of increased intracranial pressure and, if untreated, can be fatal. Neuroendoscopic removal of IVNCC is recommended as the first-line treatment.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a healthy 30-year-old male originally from Mexico who presented with headaches and vomiting. He was found to have a cyst in the third ventricle on imaging, consistent with IVNCC. The authors successfully performed neuroendoscopic surgery with removal of the cyst en bloc.

LESSONS

A multidisciplinary team of neurosurgery and infectious disease specialists is recommended for successful management of patients with IVNCC. These patients typically require neuroendoscopic surgical removal for definitive treatment. In this case, the authors show surgery resulted in an effective cure without the need for antiparasitic medication and excellent long-term outcomes.

Open access

First use of intraventricular nicardipine in a pediatric patient with vasospasm secondary to meningitis: illustrative case

V. Jane Horak, Nirali Patel, Sunny Abdelmageed, Jonathan Scoville, Melissa A LoPresti, and Sandi Lam

BACKGROUND

Cerebral vasospasm is commonly associated with adult aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage but can develop in children. The standard vasospasm treatment includes induced hypertension, avoidance of hypovolemia, systemic use of the calcium channel blocker (CCB) nimodipine, and cerebral angiography for intraarterial therapy. Emerging treatments in adults, such as intraventricular CCB administration, have not been investigated in children. This study demonstrates the successful use of an intraventricular CCB in a pediatric patient with refractory vasospasm secondary to meningitis.

OBSERVATIONS

A 12-year-old female presented with Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis and ventriculitis with refractory symptomatic cerebral vasospasm. She received a 5-day course of intrathecal nicardipine through an existing external ventricular drain. Her clinical status, transcranial Doppler studies, and radiography improved. Treatment was well tolerated.

LESSONS

Pediatric vasospasm is uncommon and potentially devastating. The management of vasospasm in adults occurs frequently. Principles of this management are adapted to pediatric care given the rarity of vasospasm in children. The use of intraventricular nicardipine has been reported in the care of adults with level 3 evidence. It has not been adequately reported in children with refractory vasospasm. Here, the first use of intraventricular nicardipine in treating pediatric cerebral vasospasm in the setting of meningitis is described and highlighted.

Open access

Immunocompetent isolated cerebral mucormycosis presenting with obstructive hydrocephalus: illustrative case

Khoa N Nguyen, Lindsey M Freeman, Timothy H Ung, Steven Ojemann, and Fabio Grassia

BACKGROUND

Isolated cerebral mucormycosis is rare in immunocompetent adults and is only sparsely reported to be associated with obstructive hydrocephalus.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors report a case of obstructive hydrocephalus secondary to central nervous system mucormycosis without other systems or rhino-orbital involvement and its technical surgical management. A 23-year-old, incarcerated, immunocompetent patient with history of intravenous (IV) drug use presented with syncope. Although clinical and radiographic findings failed to elucidate an infectious pathology, endoscopy revealed an obstructive mass lesion at the level of the third ventricle, which, on microbiological testing, was confirmed to be Rhizopus fungal ventriculitis. Perioperative cerebrospinal fluid diversion, endoscopic third ventriculostomy, endoscopic biopsy technique, patient outcomes, and the literature are reviewed here. The patient received intrathecal and IV amphotericin B followed by a course of oral antifungal treatment and currently remains in remission.

LESSONS

The patient’s unique presentation and diagnosis of isolated cerebral mucormycosis reveal this pathogen as a cause of ventriculitis and obstructive hydrocephalus in immunocompetent adult patients, even in the absence of infectious sequelae on neuroimaging.

Open access

Continuous direct intraarterial treatment of meningitis-induced vasospasm in a pediatric patient: illustrative case

Aubrey C Rogers, Aditya D Goyal, and Alexandra R Paul

BACKGROUND

Bacterial meningitis–induced ischemic stroke continues to cause significant long-term complications in pediatric patients. The authors present a case of severe right internal carotid artery terminus and M1 segment vasospasm in a 9-year-old with an infected cholesteatoma, which was refractory to multiple intraarterial treatments with verapamil and milrinone. This is the first report of continuous intraarterial antispasmodic treatment in a pediatric patient as well as the first report of continuous treatment in an awake and extubated patient.

OBSERVATIONS

Arterial narrowing was successfully treated by continuous direct intraarterial administration of both a calcium channel blocker (verapamil) and a phosphodiesterase-3 inhibitor (milrinone). The patient recovered remarkably well and was discharged home with no neurological deficit (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score 0) and ambulatory without assistance after 22 days. The authors report a promising outcome of this technique performed in a pediatric patient.

LESSONS

This represents a novel treatment option for the prevention of stroke in pediatric bacterial meningitis. Continuous, direct intraarterial administration of antispasmodic medications can successfully prevent long-term neurological deficit in pediatric meningitis-associated vasospasm. The described method has the potential to significantly improve outcomes in severe pediatric meningitis-associated vasospasm.

Open access

Magnetic resonance imaging–derived relative cerebral blood volume characteristics in a case of pathologically confirmed neurocysticercosis: illustrative case

Nada E Botros, David Polinger-Hyman, Ryan T Beck, Christopher Kleefisch, E. Kelly S Mrachek, Jennifer Connelly, Kathleen M Schmainda, and Max O Krucoff

BACKGROUND

Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a parasitic infection of the brain caused by ingesting water or food contaminated with tapeworm eggs. When it presents as a solitary mass, differentiation from a primary brain tumor on imaging can be difficult. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) is a newer imaging technique used to identify areas of neovascularization in tumors, which may advance the differential diagnosis.

OBSERVATIONS

A 25-year-old male presented after a seizure. Computed tomography (CT) and MRI demonstrated a partially enhancing lesion with microcalcifications and vasogenic edema. Follow-up rCBV assessment demonstrated mild hyperperfusion and/or small vessels at the lesional margins consistent with either an intermediate grade glioma or infection. Given the radiological equipoise, surgical accessibility, and differential diagnosis including primary neoplasm, metastatic disease, NCC, and abscess, resection was pursued. The calcified mass was excised en bloc and was confirmed as larval-stage NCC.

LESSONS

CT or MRI may not always provide sufficient information to distinguish NCC from brain tumors. Although reports have suggested that rCBV may aid in identifying NCC, here the authors describe a case of pathologically confirmed NCC in which preoperative, qualitative, standardized rCBV findings raised concern for a primary neoplasm. This case documents the first standardized rCBV values reported in a pathologically confirmed case of NCC in the United States.

Open access

Combined endoscopic and microsurgical approach for the drainage of a multisegmental thoracolumbar epidural abscess: illustrative case

Vincent Hagel, Felix Dymel, Stephan Werle, Vera Barrera, and Mazda Farshad

BACKGROUND

Spinal epidural abscess is a rare but serious infectious disease that can rapidly develop into a life-threatening condition. Therefore, the appropriate treatment is indispensable. Although conservative treatment is justifiable in certain cases, surgical treatment needs to be considered as an alternative early on because of complications such as (progressive) neurological deficits or sepsis. However, traditional surgical techniques usually include destructive approaches up to (multilevel) laminectomies. Such excessive approaches do have biomechanical effects potentially affecting the long-term outcomes. Therefore, minimally invasive approaches have been described as alternative strategies, including endoscopic approaches.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe a surgical technique involving a combination of two minimally invasive approaches (endoscopic and microsurgical) to drain a multisegmental (thoracolumbar) abscess using the physical phenomenon of continuous pressure difference to minimize collateral tissue damage.

LESSONS

The combination of minimally invasive approaches, including the endoscopic technique, may be an alternative in draining selected epidural abscesses while achieving a similar amount of abscess removal and causing less collateral approach damage in comparison with more traditional techniques.

Open access

Pedicle subtraction metallectomy with complex posterior reconstruction for fixed cervicothoracic kyphosis: illustrative case

Harman Chopra, José Manuel Orenday-Barraza, Alexander E. Braley, Alfredo Guiroy, Olivia E. Gilbert, and Michael A. Galgano

BACKGROUND

Iatrogenic cervical deformity is a devastating complication that can result from a well-intended operation but a poor understanding of the individual biomechanics of a patient’s spine. Patient factors, such as bone fragility, high T1 slope, and undiagnosed myopathies often play a role in perpetuating a deformity despite an otherwise successful surgery. This imbalance can lead to significant morbidity and a decreased quality of life.

OBSERVATIONS

A 55-year-old male presented to the authors’ clinic with a chin-to-chest deformity and cervical myelopathy. He previously had an anterior C2–T2 fixation and a posterior C1–T6 instrumented fusion. He subsequently developed screw pullout at multiple levels, so the original surgeon removed all of the posterior hardware. The T1 cage (original corpectomy) severely subsided into the body of T2, generating an angular kyphosis that eventually developed a rigid osseous circumferential union at the cervicothoracic junction with severe cord compression. An anterior approach was not feasible; therefore, a 3-column osteotomy/fusion in the upper thoracic spine was planned whereby 1 of the T2 screws would need to be removed from a posterior approach for the reduction to take place.

LESSONS

This case highlights the devastating effect of a hardware complication leading to a fixed cervical spine deformity and the complex decision making involved to safely correct the challenging deformity and restore function.

Open access

Trigeminal neuralgia secondary to vascular compression and neurocysticercosis: illustrative case

Mao Vásquez, Luis J. Saavedra, Hector H. García, Evelyn Vela, Jorge E. Medina, Miguel Lozano, Carlos Hoyos, and William W. Lines-Aguilar

BACKGROUND

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a frequent neurosurgical problem negatively influencing the quality of life of patients. The standard surgical treatment is microvascular decompression for primary cases and decompression of the mass effect, mainly tumors, for secondary cases. Neurocysticercosis (NCC) in the cerebellopontine angle is a rare etiology of TN. The authors report a case in which NCC cysts around the trigeminal nerve coexisted with a vascular loop, which compressed the exit of the trigeminal nerve from the pons.

OBSERVATIONS

A 78-year-old woman presented with a 3-year history of persistent severe pain in the left side of her face, refractory to medical treatment. On gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, cystic lesions were observed around the left trigeminal nerve and a vascular loop was also present and in contact with the nerve. A retrosigmoid approach for cyst excision plus microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve was successfully performed. There were no complications. The patient was discharged without facial pain.

LESSONS

Albeit rare, TN secondary to NCC cysts should be considered in the differential diagnosis in NCC-endemic regions. In this case, the cause of the neuralgia was probably both problems, because when both were treated, the patient improved.

Open access

Management of refractory bacterial meningitis–associated cerebral vasospasm: illustrative case

Sofya Norman, Jon Rosenberg, Sri Hari Sundararajan, Ali Al Balushi, Srikanth Reddy Boddu, and Judy H. Ch’ang

BACKGROUND

Cerebral vasospasm is an alarming complication of acute bacterial meningitis with potentially devastating consequences. It is essential for providers to recognize and treat it appropriately. Unfortunately, there is no well-established approach to the management of postinfectious vasospasm, which makes it especially challenging to treat these patients. More research is needed to address this gap in care.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors describe a patient with postmeningitis vasospasm that was refractory to induced hypertension, steroids, and verapamil. He eventually responded to a combination of intravenous (IV) and intra-arterial (IA) milrinone followed by angioplasty.

LESSONS

To our knowledge, this is the first report of successfully using milrinone as vasodilator therapy in a patient with postbacterial meningitis-associated vasospasm. This case supports the use of this intervention. In future cases of vasospasm after bacterial meningitis, IV and IA milrinone should be trialed earlier with consideration of angioplasty.

Open access

Cerebrospinal fluid fistula as a complication of reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction collection for the detection of coronavirus disease 2019: illustrative cases

Lucca B. Palavani, Camila V. F. Andrade, Renato A. Andrade, Egmond Alves, Marcio Falchi Barros, and João F. Barbieri

BACKGROUND

The most used method to detect coronavirus disease 2019 during the pandemic is reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction with nasal swab. Despite being highly effective, the test does not leave the patient risk-free and can lead to serious complications. These can be traumatic nasal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistula and its consequences, such as meningitis.

OBSERVATIONS

In this article, the authors present 4 case reports and a literature review. The following MeSH terms in the research were used: “CSF leak case report and covid 19.” Six results were found and after searching the references and keywords 16 articles were identified. By using them, the authors tried to clarify the etiology of the fistula, its influences, and complications.

LESSONS

The authors conclude that professionals must receive training, since CSF fistula originates from technical failure and lack of anatomical knowledge. The diagnosis cannot be neglected because it can bring complications to the patient’s health.