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Application of transcranial transmission ultrasound in the detection of vasospasm in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: illustrative cases

Maximilian Schwendner, Leonie Kram, Haosu Zhang, Ann-Kathrin Joerger, Raimunde Liang, Chiara Negwer, Bernhard Meyer, and Maria Wostrack

BACKGROUND

Effective management of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) demands vigilant monitoring and treatment, given the risks of complications such as cerebral vasospasm and delayed ischemic neurological deficits (DINDs). Transcranial transmission ultrasound (TTUS) is a well-established technique for assessing brain pulsatility. This pilot study aims to explore the utility of TTUS in detecting impaired intracerebral blood flow associated with DINDs.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors examined 2 male patients, ages 45 and 52 years, with aSAH Hunt and Hess grades 4 and 2, respectively, who developed DINDs during their clinical course. Simultaneous recordings of arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and TTUS measurements were obtained in the intensive care unit. TTUS analysis revealed abnormal arrhythmic wave patterns during DIND episodes, whereas baseline measurements on DIND-free days showed no abnormalities. Following endovascular spasmolysis, TTUS demonstrated a normalization of abnormal waves, returning to baseline levels, alongside the resolution of neurological symptoms.

LESSONS

TTUS, a noninvasive method for assessing brain pulsatility, shows promise as a novel tool for monitoring aSAH patients, potentially aiding in prompt diagnostics and additional therapeutic interventions. Its capacity to provide further insights for individuals at risk of delayed cerebral ischemia warrants further investigation in clinical studies.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE24146

Open access

De novo primary malignant lymphoma of the dura following recurrent episodes of subdural abscess presenting as chronic subdural hematoma: illustrative case

Tomoya Yagisawa, Kenji Ibayashi, Rintaro Kuroda, Shunsuke Koyama, Yoshinobu Kanda, Yukiko Fukuda, Katsuyuki Shirai, Hirotoshi Kawata, Naoto Kunii, and Kensuke Kawai

BACKGROUND

Chronic inflammation of the thorax, as in tuberculosis-related pyothorax, can cause secondary malignant lymphomas. However, primary malignant lymphoma of the central nervous system, specifically of the dura mater, developing after intracranial infection or inflammation has rarely been reported. Herein, the authors describe a case of primary dural lymphoma that developed secondary to subdural empyema, with an initial presentation mimicking a chronic subdural hematoma.

OBSERVATIONS

A 51-year-old man had undergone single burr hole drainage for subdural empyema 2 years prior. The patient subsequently underwent multiple craniotomy and drainage procedures, with successful remission of the subdural empyema. He was subsequently referred to the authors’ hospital approximately a year after his initial treatment because of a recollection of subdural fluid, which was suspected to be recurrent empyema. After another single burr hole drainage, which revealed only a subdural hematoma, a histopathological diagnosis of B-cell lymphoma of the dural/subdural membrane was made. Subsequent radiation therapy was completed, with good local control and no recurrence of the subdural hematoma confirmed at 2 months posttreatment.

LESSONS

Intracranial lymphoma triggered by chronic inflammation is rare but should be considered a differential diagnosis in subdural hematomas for which the background pathology is unclear.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE24153

Open access

Nasofrontal encephalocele in a child, associated with a nasal dermal sinus in his mother: familial cranial malformations. Illustrative case

Mir Yabir Ali, Zohreh Habibi, Farideh Nejat, and Mostafa El Khashab

BACKGROUND

Dermal sinuses and encephaloceles are uncommon central nervous system malformations. The occurrence of these malformations in different members of a family is very rare.

OBSERVATIONS

This report documents the unique case of a 10-month-old boy with a frontonasal encephalocele, born to a mother with a nasal dermal sinus. These two specific neural tube defects have not been previously reported as occurring between parent and child.

LESSONS

This case demonstrates potential heritable links in central nervous system malformations through the occurrence of a frontonasal encephalocele in a child born to a mother with a dermal sinus. The connection between these two malformations in a heritable manner suggests a potential need for further research into the genetic pathogenesis of such defects to predict them more accurately within families.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE23727

Open access

Posterior fossa Hodgkin’s lymphoma radiographically mimicking an arteriovenous malformation: illustrative case

Joshua D McBriar, Kyriakos Papadimitriou, Danielle Golub, Hayley Donaldson, Jian Y Li, Pallavi Khattar, Samuel Singer, Karen S Black, and Thomas W Link

BACKGROUND

Intracranial Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) is an exceedingly rare condition that is at an increased risk of misdiagnosis and mismanagement, especially when initial radiographic evidence points to an alternative pathology.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe the case of a 75-year-old female who presented with a posterior fossa lesion initially concerning for a vascular malformation on computed tomography imaging due to perilesional hypervascularity. Subsequent angiography revealed a developmental venous anomaly (DVA) but no arteriovenous shunting. The patient’s clinical history combined with magnetic resonance imaging findings prompted a tissue biopsy, which demonstrated a rare case of central nervous system (CNS) HL. The neoangiogenesis of this CNS HL with an adjacent DVA contributed to the original radiographic misdiagnosis of an arteriovenous malformation. HL’s angiogenic potential, coupled with the proangiogenic environment induced around DVAs, may have contributed to this rare CNS HL metastasis to the cerebellum. The potential misdiagnosis of posterior fossa CNS HL has also been seen in several prior cases reviewed herein.

LESSONS

Hypervascular tumors, especially when associated with an adjacent DVA, should also be considered when first evaluating suspected intracranial vascular lesions. Although rare, CNS HL should be included in the differential diagnosis for patients with a prior history of HL.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE24238

Open access

Revealing subependymal giant cell astrocytoma with multimodal positron emission tomography: illustrative cases

Nobuhiko Kawai, Daisuke Ogawa, Tomono Fuke, Masaki Tatano, Momo Ishikawa, Takahiro Kanda, Kenta Suzuki, Takeshi Fujimori, Yasunori Toyota, Tetsuhiro Hatakeyama, Masanobu Okauchi, Masahiko Kawanishi, Reiji Haba, Akira Kurose, Yo Nida, and Keisuke Miyake

BACKGROUND

There is limited literature on the use of positron emission tomography (PET) for benign tumors originating in the brain ventricles, and the use of multiple tracers for subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) has not been reported. The authors compared the PET findings in two SEGA cases with past reports and literature, exploring the distinctive characteristics of SEGA on PET.

OBSERVATIONS

In a 21-year-old female with SEGA, the authors utilized 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG), 11C-methionine (11C-MET), 18F-fluorothymidine (18F-FLT), 18F-fluoromisonidazole, and 18F-THK5351 tracers. Additionally, in a 6-year-old girl, the authors performed 11C-MET PET.

LESSONS

The results indicated the accumulation of all tracers except 18F-FDG, with particularly intense accumulation noted with 18F-FLT. In particular, 18F-FLT demonstrated accumulation comparable to that observed in malignant tumors. This study suggests that multiple PET tracers can provide valuable insights into the characterization of SEGA, with 18F-FLT showing particular promise as a distinctive marker of blood-brain barrier disruption. Further research in larger cohorts may enhance our understanding of metabolic patterns in SEGA and aid in its diagnosis and treatment.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE24111

Open access

Surgical decompression in spinal Paget’s disease: illustrative case

Anthony Price, Christopher File, Francisco Call-Orellana, Romulo Augusto Andrade de Almeida, and Robert Y North

BACKGROUND

Paget’s disease of bone (PDB) is a common bone metabolic pathology in older adults, characterized by mixed osteolytic, osteoblastic, and quiescent periods. Surgical guidelines for PDB involving the spine are not well-defined and are reserved for cases refractory to medical treatments, typically bisphosphonates like zoledronic acid. This case study describes a 52-year-old male with PDB who presented with rapidly progressing myelopathy symptoms refractory to standard medical treatment, warranting surgical decompression.

OBSERVATIONS

Surgical decompression and fusion, involving laminectomy with partial facetectomies, placement of pedicle screw instrumentation, and posterolateral arthrodesis spanning beyond the pathological segment, was performed. Follow-up visits indicated progressive improvement in symptoms and mobility, and imaging showed stable postsurgical changes with increased sclerosis in the affected vertebrae on a 2-year postsurgical course.

LESSONS

This case underscores that PDB of the spine can transition from asymptomatic to significant impairment and demonstrates that surgical intervention can provide effective symptomatic relief in myelopathy secondary to PDB. The case contributes to the growing evidence of the effectiveness of surgical decompression in PDB involving the spine.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE24203

Restricted access

Comparison of biportal endoscopic and microscopic tubular paraspinal approach for foraminal and extraforaminal lumbar disc herniation

Min-Seok Kang, Jae-Yeun Hwang, Sang-Min Park, Jae-Hyuk Yang, Ki-Han You, Seok-Ho Hong, Samuel K. Cho, and Hyun-Jin Park

OBJECTIVE

Foraminal and extraforaminal lumbar disc herniation (FELDH) is an important pathological condition that can lead to lumbar radiculopathy. The paraspinal muscle–splitting approach introduced by Reulen and Wiltse is a reasonable surgical technique. Minimally invasive procedures using a tubular retractor system have also been introduced. However, surgical treatment is considered more challenging for FELDH than for central or subarticular lumbar disc herniations (LDHs). Some researchers have proposed uniportal extraforaminal endoscopic lumbar discectomy through a posterolateral approach as an alternative for FELDH, but heterogeneous clinical results have been reported. Recently, the biportal endoscopic (BE) paraspinal approach has been suggested as an alternative. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes of BE and microscopic tubular (MT) paraspinal approaches for decompressive foraminotomy and lumbar discectomy (paraLD) in patients with FELDH.

METHODS

Ninety-one consecutive patients with unilateral lumbar radiculopathy and FELDH underwent paraLD. Demographic and perioperative data were collected. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS) for back and leg pain, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for spinal disability, and the modified Macnab criteria for patient satisfaction. Postoperative complications and reoperation rates were also evaluated.

RESULTS

In total, 76 patients were included in the final analysis. Among them, 43 underwent BE paraLD (group A) and the remaining 33 underwent MT paraLD (group B). The demographic and preoperative data were not statistically different between the groups. All patients showed significant improvements in VAS back, VAS leg, and ODI scores compared with baseline values (p < 0.05). The improvement in VAS back scores was significantly better in group A than in group B on postoperative day 2 (p < 0.001). However, all clinical parameters were comparable between the two groups after postoperative year 1 (p > 0.05). According to the modified Macnab criteria, 86.1% and 72.7% of the patients had excellent or good outcomes in groups A and B, respectively. No intergroup differences were observed (p = 0.367). In addition, there were no differences in the total operation time or amount of surgical drainage. Postoperative complications were not significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.301); however, reoperation rates were significantly higher in group B (p = 0.035).

CONCLUSIONS

BE paraLD is an effective treatment for FELDH and is an alternative to MT paraLD. In particular, BE paraLD has advantages of early improvement in postoperative back pain and low reoperation rates.

Restricted access

Comparison of endoscopic multiport approaches to the petrous apex: contralateral transmaxillary versus contralateral medial transorbital corridor

Jaskaran S. Gosal, Govind S. Bhuskute, Mohammad Bilal Alsavaf, Moataz D. Abouammo, Sunil Manjila, Mohammed Alwabili, Kyle C. Wu, Deepak K. Jha, Ricardo L. Carrau, and Daniel M. Prevedello

OBJECTIVE

Accessing the petrous apex (PA) via an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) is challenging due to its posterior and lateral anatomical relationship with the paraclival carotid artery. Typically, the EEA requires the mobilization or compression of the vessel and the use of angled-lens endoscopes and instruments. A sublabial contralateral transmaxillary (CTM) corridor has been used to overcome these challenges. Still, it requires extensive osteo-meatal disruption and drilling of the medial pterygoid process, which risks the vidian nerve and increases nasal morbidity. Furthermore, the CTM corridor positions the endoscope in the same horizontal plane as the instruments passing through the nostrils, leading to fencing. The authors propose a novel minimally invasive route to the PA, the precaruncular contralateral medial transorbital (cMTO) corridor, to address these issues. This anatomical study compares the EEA+CTM and EEA+cMTO corridors in accessing the PA.

METHODS

The authors dissected 14 fresh, preinjected cadaveric specimens (28 sides) using neuronavigation to complete EEA, cMTO, and CTM on each side. In addition to qualitative analysis, they measured and compared the working distance between the entry point (nose, orbit, maxilla) and the petrosal process of the sphenoid bone (PPSB), superomedial PA, and foramen lacerum (FL); angle of attack (AoA); area of surgical freedom; endoscope-instrument fencing angle; and visual angle for each approach.

RESULTS

The cMTO corridor provided the shortest working distance to the petroclival region (PA = 67.4 ± 4.47 mm, PPSB = 67.57 ± 4.33 mm, and FL = 66.30 ± 4.77 mm) compared to the CTM (PA = 75.85 ± 3.63 mm, PPSB = 76 ± 3.96 mm, and FL = 74.52 ± 4.26 mm) and to the EEA (PA = 85.16 ± 3.16 mm, PPSB = 84.55 ± 3.02 mm, and FL = 83.42 ± 3.21 mm, p < 0.001). Both CTM and cMTO corridors had a similar visual angle to the PA (20.72° ± 2.16° and 21.63° ± 1.84°, respectively), offering a similar but significantly better visualization than EEA alone (44.71° ± 3.24°, p < 0.001). The cMTO corridor provided better instrument maneuverability than the CTM, as evidenced by a significantly greater fencing angle (30.9° ± 4.9°) than with the CTM (21.7° ± 4.02°, p < 0.001). The vertical AoAs for the EEA, cMTO, and CTM corridors were 9.79° ± 1.75°, 10.65° ± 0.82°, and 9.82° ± 1.43°, respectively (p = 0.009), whereas in the horizontal plane, these were 9.29° ± 1.51°, 9.10° ± 0.73°, and 10.49° ± 1.43° (p < 0.001), respectively. Both the CTM and cMTO corridors offered similar areas of surgical freedom (678.06 ± 99.5 mm2 and 673.59 ± 104.8 mm2, p = 0.986), but they were more significant than that provided by the EEA 487.29 ± 112.9 mm2 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The EEA+cMTO multiport technique may be a better alternative than the EEA+CTM multiport approach for targeting the petroclival region. However, clinical validation is required to confirm these laboratory findings.

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Discrepancy between global- and disease-specific outcome measures following lumbar spine surgery

Presented at the 2024 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Avani S. Vaishnav, Cole Kwas, Jung Kee Mok, Kasra Araghi, Nishtha Singh, Olivia Tuma, Maximilian Korsun, Chad Z. Simon, Tomoyuki Asada, Eric Mai, Joshua Zhang, Myles Allen, Eric Kim, Annika Heuer, Sravisht Iyer, and Sheeraz Qureshi

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between patient-perceived changes in health and commonly utilized patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in lumbar spine surgery.

METHODS

This was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data on consecutive patients who underwent lumbar microdiscectomy, lumbar decompression, or lumbar fusion at a single academic institution from 2017 to 2023. Correlation between the global rating of change (GRC) questionnaire, a 5-item Likert scale (much better, slightly better, about the same, slightly worse, and much worse), and PROMs (Oswestry Disability Index, visual analog scale for back and leg pain, 12-Item Short Form Health Survey Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary, and PROMIS physical function) was assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients.

RESULTS

A total of 1871 patients (397 microdiscectomies, 965 decompressions, and 509 fusions) were included. A majority of patients in each group rated their lumbar condition as much better at each postoperative time point compared with preoperatively and reported improved health status at each postoperative time point compared with the previous follow-up visit. Statistically significant but weak to moderate correlations were found between GRC and change in PROM scores from the preoperative time point. Correlation between GRC and change in PROM scores from the prior visit showed some statistically significant correlations, but the strengths ranged from very weak to weak.

CONCLUSIONS

A majority of patients undergoing lumbar microdiscectomy, decompression, or fusion endorsed notable improvements in health status in the early postoperative period and continued to improve at late follow-up. However, commonly used PROMs demonstrated very weak to moderate correlations with patient-perceived changes in overall lumbar spine–related health status as determined by GRC. Therefore, currently used PROMs may not be as sensitive at detecting these changes or may not be adequately reflecting changes in health conditions that are meaningful to patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery.

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Editorial. Thalamic gliomas: when and how to operate

Mohamed A. Zaazoue and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol