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Open access

Yu-Chaing Yeh, Ya-Jui Lin, Chih-Hua Yeh, Pao-Shiu Hsieh, and Chieh-Tsai Wu

BACKGROUND

Marfan syndrome is rarely accompanied by anterior sacral meningocele (ASM) resulting from erosion of the sacrum by dural ectasia. ASM may induce symptoms due to severe mass effects. ASM may also mimic ovarian cysts, and the risk of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage is high if spontaneous rupture of the cyst occurs. In this study, the authors presented a rare case of ASM with iatrogenic CSF leakage in a 34-year-old woman with suspected Marfan syndrome.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient initially presented with a giant ASM that was first misdiagnosed as an ovarian cyst. Previously, it had been partially resected, which was followed by iatrogenic CSF leakage. Symptoms of intracranial hypotension, including postural headache and dizziness, developed within 1 month. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed pituitary enlargement, bilateral subdural effusion, and tonsillar herniation. Preoperative computed tomography myelography provided three-dimensional (3D) examination of the deformed sacrum and CSF leakage site. Transabdominal approaches led to primary repair, and repair of the meningocele was achieved by intraoperative fluorescein fluorescence and 3D printed model–guided polymethyl methacrylate bone cement reconstruction. No CSF leakage or recurrent ASM was found at the 1.5-year follow-up visit.

LESSONS

Intraoperative intrathecal fluorescence and 3D-printed models are useful for ASM repair. Preoperative MRI is helpful for differentiating ASM from other causes of a huge pelvic mass, including ovarian cyst.

Open access

Goichiro Tamura, Kerry A. Vaughan, Sara Breitbart, Helen M. Branson, and George M. Ibrahim

BACKGROUND

Among the known complications of ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts, subcutaneous or subgaleal migration of distal catheters is rare. Prior case reports have proposed several risk factors, including inadequate fixation of the shunt device, presence of a large subgaleal space filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and repetitive flexion/extension movement of the head producing a “windlass effect.” Tight coiling of a distal catheter around the valve without a large subgaleal space has not been reported.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient was born prematurely and underwent VP shunt placement for posthemorrhagic ventricular dilatation at 3 months of age with reassuring postoperative imaging. At approximately 3 years of age, shunt radiography and head computed tomography unexpectedly showed excess tubing coiled extracranially around the shunt valve. The patient did not exhibit any clinical symptoms of shunt malfunction and underwent an uneventful revision of the VP shunt system. No CSF-filled subgaleal space was observed intraoperatively.

LESSONS

Distal catheter migration can occur without the clear presence of a subgaleal CSF collection and symptoms of acute hydrocephalus. Appropriate fixation of the shunt system using nonabsorbable stitches is recommended to prevent catheter migration caused by the windlass effect.

Open access

Yusuke Morinaga, Hiroyoshi Akutsu, Hiroyoshi Kino, Shuho Tanaka, Hidetaka Miyamoto, Masahide Matsuda, Muneyoshi Yasuda, and Eiichi Ishikawa

BACKGROUND

The authors reported on the use of endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) for clivus osteochondroma in a patient with hereditary multiple exostoses (HME), a rare pediatric disorder characterized by the formation of osteochondromas adjacent to the growth plates of the axial and appendicular skeletal elements.

OBSERVATIONS

A 26-year-old man with a family history of HME reported progressive hoarseness and dysphagia over the previous 6 months. He was referred to us after magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a bone tumor in the lower clivus. MRI revealed tumor proliferation in the lower clivus and its extension to the bilateral occipital condyle and jugular tubercle. The hypoglossal canal and jugular foramen were encased on the right side, whereas the medulla oblongata was compressed. The tumor was subtotally resected with EES, and the brainstem was successfully decompressed. The pathological diagnosis was exostoses. Transient postoperative worsening of dysphagia improved within 1 month without other neurological deficits. The patient underwent posterior occipitoaxial fixation 3 months after EES to correct instability and local lateral tilt of the right atlanto-occipital joint.

LESSONS

The authors’ experience showed that EES is effective for resection of lower clivus osteochondromas, including the cartilaginous cap, and may improve clinical outcomes in patients with HME.

Open access

J. Manuel Sarmiento, Justin D. Cohen, Robin M. Babadjouni, Miguel D. Quintero-Consuegra, Nestor R. Gonzalez, and Tiffany G. Perry

BACKGROUND

Cervical spine surgery sometimes necessitates complex ventral/dorsal approaches or osteotomies that place the vertebral artery (VA) at risk of inadvertent injury. Tortuosity of the VA poses increased risk of vessel injury during anterior decompression or placement of posterior instrumentation.

OBSERVATIONS

In this report, the authors describe a patient with degenerative cervical spondylotic myelopathy and focal kyphotic deformity requiring corrective surgery via a combined ventral/dorsal approach. Computed tomography (CT) and CT angiography (CTA) of the spine identified a left medially enlarged C4 transverse foramen and tortuous VA V2 segment forming a potentially dangerous medial loop into the vertebral body, respectively. The patient’s presentation and management are described.

LESSONS

The course of the VA is variable, and a tortuous VA with significant medial or lateral displacement may be dangerous during ventral and dorsal approaches to the cervical spine. CTA of the cervical spine is warranted in cases in which atlantoaxial fixation is needed or suspicious transverse foramen morphology is identified to understand the course of the VA and identify anatomical variations that would put the VA at risk during cervical spine surgery.

Open access

Zhishuo Wei, Arka N. Mallela, Andrew Faramand, Ajay Niranjan, and L. Dade Lunsford

BACKGROUND

Invasive sagittal sinus meningiomas are difficult tumors to cure by resection alone. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) can be used as an adjuvant management strategy to improve tumor control after incomplete resection.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors reported the long-term retrospective follow-up of two patients whose recurrent parasagittal meningiomas eventually occluded their superior sagittal sinus. Both patients underwent staged radiosurgery and fractionated radiation therapy to achieve tumor control that extended to 20 years after their initial surgery. After initial subtotal resection of meningiomas that had invaded major cerebral venous sinuses, adjuvant radiosurgery was performed to enhance local tumor control. Over time, adjacent tumor progression required repeat SRS and fractionated radiation therapy to boost long-term tumor response. Staged multimodality intervention led to extended survival in these patients with otherwise unresectable meningiomas.

LESSONS

Multimodality management with radiosurgery and fractionated radiation therapy was associated with long-term survival of two patients with otherwise surgically incurable and invasive meningiomas of the dural venous sinuses.

Open access

Nancy Pham, Julius O. Ebinu, Tejas Karnati, and Lotfi Hacein-Bey

BACKGROUND

Spinal arachnoid webs are uncommon and difficult to diagnose, especially because causative intradural transverse bands of arachnoid tissue are radiographically occult. Left untreated, arachnoid webs may cause progressive, debilitating, and permanent neurological dysfunction. Conversely, more than 90% of patients may experience rapid neurological recovery after resection, even with a prolonged duration of presenting symptoms. Indirect imaging signs such as spinal cord indentation and compression with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow alteration provide crucial diagnostic clues that are critical in guiding appropriate management of such patients.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors reported a patient with no significant medical history who presented with back pain, progressive lower extremity weakness, gait ataxia, and bowel and bladder incontinence. They discussed multimodality imaging for determining the presence of arachnoid webs, including magnetic resonance imaging, phase-contrast CSF flow study, computed tomography myelography, and intraoperative ultrasound. They also discussed the detailed anatomy of the spinal subarachnoid space and a plausible pathophysiological mechanism for dorsal arachnoid webs.

LESSONS

The authors report on a patient who underwent comprehensive imaging evaluation detailing the arachnoid web and whose subsequent anatomical localization and surgical treatment resulted in a full neurological recovery.

Open access

Alexander P. Landry, Vincent C. Ye, Kerry A. Vaughan, James M. Drake, Peter B. Dirks, and Michael D. Cusimano

BACKGROUND

Trigeminal schwannoma (TS) is an uncommon and histologically benign intracranial lesion that can involve any segment of the fifth cranial nerve. Given its often impressive size at diagnosis and frequent involvement of critical neurovascular structures of the skull base, it represents a challenging entity to treat. Pediatric TS is particularly rare and presents unique challenges. Similarly, tumors with extension into multiple compartments (e.g., middle cranial fossa, posterior cranial fossa, extracranial spaces) are notoriously difficult to treat surgically. Combined or staged surgical approaches are typically required to address them, with radiosurgical treatment as an adjunct.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors presented the unusual case of a 9-year-old boy with a large, recurrent multicompartmental TS involving Meckel’s cave, the cerebellopontine angle, and the infratemporal fossa. Near-total resection was achieved using a frontotemporal-orbitozygomatic craniotomy with a combined interdural and extradural approach.

LESSONS

The case report adds to the current literature on multicompartmental TSs in children and their management. The authors also provided a simplified classification of TS that can be generalized to other skull base tumors. Given a lack of precedent, the authors intended to add to the discussion regarding surgical management of these rare and challenging skull base lesions.

Open access

Kevin Swong, Michael J. Strong, Jay K. Nathan, Timothy J. Yee, Brandon W. Smith, Paul Park, and Mark E. Oppenlander

BACKGROUND

Lumbar radiculopathy is the most common indication for lumbar discectomy, but residual postoperative radicular symptoms are common. Postoperative lumbar radiculopathy secondary to scar formation is notoriously difficult to manage, with the mainstay of treatment focused on nonoperative techniques. Surgical intervention for epidural fibrosis has shown unacceptably high complication rates and poor success rates.

OBSERVATIONS

Three patients underwent spinal arthrodesis without direct decompression for recurrent radiculopathy due to epidural fibrosis. Each patient previously underwent lumbar discectomy but subsequently developed recurrent radiculopathy. Imaging revealed no recurrent disc herniation, although it demonstrated extensive epidural fibrosis and scar in the region of the nerve root at the previous surgical site. Dynamic radiographs showed no instability. Two patients underwent lateral lumbar interbody fusion, and one patient underwent anterior lumbosacral interbody fusion. Each patient experienced resolution of radicular symptoms by the 1-year follow-up. Average EQ visual analog scale scores improved from 65 preoperatively to 78 postoperatively.

LESSONS

Spinal arthrodesis via lumbar interbody fusion, without direct decompression, may relieve pain in patients with recurrent radiculopathy due to epidural fibrosis, even in the absence of gross spinal instability.

Open access

Francisco Hernández-Fernández, Noemí Cámara-González, María José Pedrosa-Jiménez, and Cristian Alcahut-Rodríguez

BACKGROUND

Spontaneous spinal subdural hematomas (SSDHs) are unusual. Among their probable etiologies, an association with ruptured brain aneurysms has been described in an extraordinary way. The underlying pathophysiological mechanism is not conclusively described in the literature.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors reported an exceptional case of a 59-year-old woman admitted for a condition that included sudden headache, stiff neck, and vomiting associated with pain in the left flank area that radiated to the leg. Computed tomography (CT) of the brain evidenced acute subarachnoid hemorrhage distributed in the bilateral posterior parieto-occipital fossa and occipital horns of the ventricles. CT angiography detected a dissecting aneurysm in the left vertebral artery (V4) that was treated urgently via the endovascular route. In the next hours, the patient’s symptoms worsened, with paraplegia of the lower extremities. Magnetic resonance imaging showed SSDH at T4–6 and extensive associated myelopathy.

LESSONS

The origin of the spinal hematoma may be the rupture of the aneurysm of the V4 segment in the dura mater of the foramen magnum and subsequent rostrocaudal migration of the hemorrhage to the spinal subdural space, enhanced by an intracranial pressure increase. This hypothesis is discussed, as is a brief literature review.

Restricted access

Devon J. Ryan, Nicholas D. Stekas, Ethan W. Ayres, Mohamed A. Moawad, Eaman Balouch, Dennis Vasquez-Montes, Charla R. Fischer, Aaron J. Buckland, Thomas J. Errico, and Themistocles S. Protopsaltis

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to reliably predict sagittal and coronal spinal alignment with clinical photographs by using markers placed at easily localized anatomical landmarks.

METHODS

A consecutive series of patients with adult spinal deformity were enrolled from a single center. Full-length standing radiographs were obtained at the baseline visit. Clinical photographs were taken with reflective markers placed overlying C2, S1, the greater trochanter, and each posterior-superior iliac spine. Sagittal radiographic parameters were C2 pelvic angle (CPA), T1 pelvic angle (TPA), and pelvic tilt. Coronal radiographic parameters were pelvic obliquity and T1 coronal tilt. Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the relationship between radiographic parameters and their photographic “equivalents.” The data were reanalyzed after stratifying the cohort into low–body mass index (BMI) (< 30) and high-BMI (≥ 30) groups. Interobserver and intraobserver reliability was assessed for clinical measures via intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).

RESULTS

A total of 38 patients were enrolled (mean age 61 years, mean BMI 27.4 kg/m2, 63% female). All regression models were significant, but sagittal parameters were more closely correlated to photographic parameters than coronal measurements. TPA and CPA had the strongest associations with their photographic equivalents (both r2 = 0.59, p < 0.001). Radiographic and clinical parameters tended to be more strongly correlated in the low-BMI group. Clinical measures of TPA and CPA had high intraobserver reliability (all ICC > 0.99, p < 0.001) and interobserver reliability (both ICC > 0.99, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The photographic measures of spinal deformity developed in this study were highly correlated with their radiographic counterparts and had high inter- and intraobserver reliability. Clinical photography can not only reduce radiation exposure in patients with adult spinal deformity, but also be used to assess deformity when full-spine radiographs are unavailable.