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Hirokazu Takami, Masahiro Shin, Masafumi Kuroiwa, Ayako Isoo, Kan Takahashi and Nobuhito Saito

Cystic malformations in the posterior cranial fossa result from developmental failure in the paleocerebellum and meninges. The authors present the case of an infant with hydrocephalus associated with cystic dilation of the foramina of Magendie and Luschka.

This 7-month-old female infant presented with sudden onset of tonic-clonic seizures. Computed tomography revealed tetraventricular hydrocephalus. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a cyst communicating with the fourth ventricle and projecting to the cisterna magna and the cerebellopontine cisterns through the foramina of Magendie and Luschka. A suboccipital craniotomy was performed for removal of the cyst wall, and the transparent membrane covering the foramen of Magendie was removed under a microscope. After the surgery, the patient's hydrocephalus improved and a phase contrast cine MR imaging study showed evidence of normal CSF flow at the level of the third and fourth ventricles. Three weeks later, however, the hydrocephalus recurred. An endoscopic third ventriculocisternostomy was performed to address the possibility of stagnant CSF flow in the posterior cranial fossa, but the hydrocephalus continued. Finally the patient underwent placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, resulting in improvement of her symptoms and resolution of the hydrocephalus.

On the basis of this experience and previously published reports, the authors speculate that the cystic malformation in their patient could be classified in a continuum of persistent Blake pouch cysts. Hydrocephalus was caused by a combination of obstruction of CSF flow at the outlets of the fourth ventricle and disequilibrium between CSF production and absorption capacity.

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Hirokazu Takami, Christoph M. Prummer, Christopher S. Graffeo, Maria Peris-Celda, Caterina Giannini, Colin L. Driscoll and Michael J. Link

Glioblastoma (GBM) of the internal auditory canal (IAC) is exceedingly rare, with only 3 prior cases reported in the literature. The authors present the fourth case of cerebellopontine angle (CPA) and IAC GBM, and the first in which the lesion mimicked a vestibular schwannoma (VS) early in its natural history. A 55-year-old man presented with tinnitus, hearing loss, and imbalance. MRI identified a left IAC/CPA lesion measuring 8 mm, most consistent with a benign VS. Over the subsequent 4 months he developed facial weakness. The tumor grew remarkably to 24 mm and surgery was recommended; the main preoperative diagnosis was malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST). Resection proceeded via a translabyrinthine approach with resection of cranial nerves VII and VIII, followed by facial-hypoglossal nerve anastomosis. Intraoperative frozen section suggested malignant spindle cell neoplasm, but final histopathological and molecular testing confirmed the lesion to be a GBM. The authors report the first case in which absence of any brainstem interface effectively excluded a primary parenchymal tumor, in particular GBM, from the differential diagnosis. Given the dramatic differences in treatment and prognoses between malignant glioma and MPNST, this case emphasizes the importance of surgical intervention on an aggressively growing lesion, which provides both the best probability of local control and the critical tissue diagnosis.