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Alexander Tuchman, Stephen P. Kalhorn, Irina Mikolaenko and Jeffrey H. Wisoff

A choroid plexus papilloma is a rare CNS neoplasm arising from the neuroepithelial lining of the choroid plexus. A third ventricular location of a choroid plexus papilloma is rare compared with the more common sites in the lateral and fourth ventricles. Cystic choroid plexus papilloma represents an infrequent subtype that may present diagnostic ambiguity. The authors present a case of cystic choroid plexus papilloma within a cavum septum pellucidum that radiographically mimicked neurocysticercosis.

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Alexander Tuchman, Martin Pham and Patrick C. Hsieh

Object

Delayed or inappropriate treatment of spinal epidural abscess (SEA) can lead to serious morbidity or death. It is a rare event with significant variation in its causes, anatomical locations, and rate of progression. Traditionally the treatment of choice has involved emergency surgical evacuation and a prolonged course of antibiotics tailored to the offending pathogen. Recent publications have advocated antibiotic treatment without surgical decompression in select patient populations. Clearly defining those patients who can be safely treated in this manner remains in evolution. The authors review the current literature concerning the treatment and outcome of SEA to make recommendations concerning what population can be safely triaged to nonoperative management and the optimal timing of surgery.

Methods

A PubMed database search was performed using a combination of search terms and Medical Subject Headings, to identify clinical studies reporting on the treatment and outcome of SEA.

Results

The literature review revealed 28 original case series containing at least 30 patients and reporting on treatment and outcome. All cohorts were deemed Class III evidence, and in all but two the data were obtained retrospectively. Based on the conclusions of these studies along with selected smaller studies and review articles, the authors present an evidence-based algorithm for selecting patients who may be safe candidates for nonoperative management.

Conclusions

Patients who are unable to undergo an operation, have a complete spinal cord injury more than 48 hours with low clinical or radiographic concern for an ascending lesion, or who are neurologically stable and lack risk factors for failure of medical management may be initially treated with antibiotics alone and close clinical monitoring. If initial medical management is to be undertaken the patient should be made aware that delayed neurological deterioration may not fully resolve even after prompt surgical treatment. Patients deemed good surgical candidates should receive their operation as soon as possible because the rate of clinical deterioration with SEA is notoriously unpredictable. Although patients tend to recover from neurological deficits after treatment of SEA, the time point when a neurological injury becomes irreversible is unknown, supporting emergency surgery in those patients with acute findings.

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Wouter I. Schievink, Marcel M. Maya, Franklin G. Moser, Alexander Tuchman, Rachelle B. Cruz, Richard I. Farb, Ryan Rebello, Kesava Reddy and Ravi S. Prasad

Spontaneous CSF–venous fistulas may be present in up to one-fourth of patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension. This is a recently discovered type of CSF leak, and much remains unknown about these fistulas. Spinal CSF–venous fistulas are usually seen in coexistence with a spinal meningeal diverticulum, suggesting the presence of an underlying structural dural weakness at the proximal portion of the fistula. The authors now report the presence of soft-tissue venous/venolymphatic malformations associated with spontaneous spinal CSF–venous fistulas in 2 patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension, suggesting a role for distal venous pathology. In a third patient with spontaneous intracranial hypotension and a venolymphatic malformation, such a CSF–venous fistula is strongly suspected.