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Andrew J. Fabiano and Robert J. Plunkett

The implantation of a deep brain stimulator (DBS) is often a staged procedure that involves stereotactic placement of the neurostimulator electrode, followed by connection of the electrode to a pulse generator during a separate operation. The authors describe a practical technique for the retrograde tunneling of the stimulator lead during the initial electrode implantation procedure. After DBS electrode placement and securing of the lead, the lead is covered with a protective cap and boot, which are then folded back to tunnel a redundant loop of the lead in a retrograde fashion into a subgaleal pocket. This technique facilitates connection of the lead to the pulse generator connecting wire at the subsequent operation and may reduce lead damage.

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Justice O. Agyei, Jingxin Qiu and Andrew J. Fabiano

The Fusarium species are one of the most common opportunistic fungal infections occurring in immunocompromised patients and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Common sites of infection include blood, skin, nasal passages, lungs, bone, and other visceral organs. There is a paucity of literature on Fusarium infections in the brain, and the true nature and extent of central nervous system involvement is not well described. To the authors’ knowledge, there have been no reported cases of Fusarium infection of the spine. The authors report the case of a man with acute myeloblastic leukemia and resultant pancytopenia who presented with fungal sinusitis, upper- and lower-extremity weakness, and cardiopulmonary arrest. Imaging studies revealed a spinal cervical intramedullary ring-enhancing lesion. Because of the progressive nature of his symptoms, neurosurgical intervention involving a C2–3 laminectomy and drainage of the lesion was performed. Intraoperative cultures and histopathology results were positive for Fusarium species and, along with intraoperative findings, were consistent with a fungus ball. The patient was placed on a regimen of intravenous and intrathecal antifungal therapy. Unfortunately, his clinical condition declined postoperatively, and he ultimately died of disseminated infection.