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Pravin Salunke, Sameer S. Futane, and Ashish Aggarwal

Although uncommon, variations in split cord malformation (SCM) have been described. However, a combination of SCM Type II and dorsal lipomas has not been reported.

The authors describe the case of a 6-year-old girl who presented with a 1-year history of spastic paraparesis associated with a lipomatous swelling on her lower back. Radiology revealed a Type II SCM with a dorsal lipoma at that level. Intraoperatively, the authors observed a dorsal lipoma for each hemicord; these were excised, and the septum causing the split was cut.

Premature separation of the cutaneous and neural ectoderm is predetermined for each neural fold, and a split at this level would give rise to SCM with twin dorsal lipomas, one for each hemicord.

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Bishan D. Radotra, Ashish Aggarwal, Ankur Kapoor, Navneet Singla, and Debajyoti Chatterjee

IgG4-related disease is relatively new disease entity and a rare one, and our knowledge of this entity continues to evolve. It was first described in the pancreas and since then has been described in virtually every organ. Spinal involvement resulting in pachymeningitis is rare, and there are only 8 reported cases of the same to date, with the cervicothoracic spine being the most commonly affected region.

The authors describe 2 cases in which the patients presented with spinal compression resulting in myeloradiculopathy (Case 1) and radiculopathy (Case 2). Imaging of spine in both cases revealed an ill-defined contrast-enhancing lesion at the lumbar level. Preoperatively, a diagnosis of spinal tumor was made, but intraoperatively no spinal tumor was found. The diagnosis was established histopathologically.

The disease has no particular defining features clinically or radiologically and can mimic common spinal tumors. It is important to accurately diagnose this rare entity because of its multisystem involvement and progressive course. Strict treatment guidelines have yet to be formulated. Although histologically this disease can mimic other inflammatory conditions, the presence of storiform fibrosis and an increased number of IgG4-positive plasma cells can help in clarifying the diagnosis.

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Sushanta K. Sahoo, Sivashanmugam Dhandapani, Apinderpreet Singh, Chandrashekhar Gendle, Madhivanan Karthigeyan, Pravin Salunke, Ashish Aggarwal, Navneet Singla, Raghav Singla, Manjul Tripathi, Rajesh Chhabra, Sandeep Mohindra, Manoj Kumar Tewari, Manju Mohanty, Hemant Bhagat, Arunaloke Chakrabarti, and Sunil Kumar Gupta

OBJECTIVE

COVID-19 has affected surgical practice globally. Treating neurosurgical patients with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic is challenging in institutions with shared patient areas. The present study was performed to assess the changing patterns of neurosurgical cases, the efficacy of repeated testing before surgery, and the prevalence of COVID-19 in asymptomatic neurosurgical inpatients.

METHODS

Cases of non–trauma-related neurosurgical patients treated at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) before and during the COVID-19 pandemic were reviewed. During the pandemic, all patients underwent a nasopharyngeal swab reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction test to detect COVID-19 at admission. Patients who needed immediate intervention were surgically treated following a single COVID-19 test, while stable patients who initially tested negative for COVID-19 were subjected to repeated testing at least 5 days after the first test and within 48 hours prior to the planned surgery. The COVID-19 positivity rate was compared with the local period prevalence. The number of patients who tested positive at the second test, following a negative first test, was used to determine the probable number of people who could have become infected during the surgical procedure without second testing.

RESULTS

Of the total 1769 non–trauma-related neurosurgical patients included in this study, a mean of 337.2 patients underwent surgery per month before COVID-19, while a mean of 184.2 patients (54.6% of pre–COVID-19 capacity) underwent surgery per month during the pandemic period, when COVID-19 cases were on the rise in India. There was a significant increase in the proportion of patients undergoing surgery for a ruptured aneurysm, stroke, hydrocephalus, and cerebellar tumors, while the number of patients seeking surgery for chronic benign diseases declined. At the first COVID-19 test, 4 patients (0.48%) tested were found to have the disease, a proportion 3.7 times greater than that found in the local community. An additional 5 patients tested positive at the time of the second COVID-19 test, resulting in an overall inpatient period prevalence of 1%, in contrast to a 0.2% national cumulative caseload. It is possible that COVID-19 was prevented in approximately 67.4 people every month by using double testing.

CONCLUSIONS

COVID-19 has changed the pattern of neurosurgical procedures, with acute cases dominating the practice. Despite the fact that the pandemic has not yet reached its peak in India, COVID-19 has been detected 3.7 times more often in asymptomatic neurosurgical inpatients than in the local community, even with single testing. Double testing displays an incremental value by disclosing COVID-19 overall in 1 in 100 inpatients and thus averting its spread through neurosurgical services.