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Open access

Occult lipomatosis of the nerve as part of macrodystrophia lipomatosa: illustrative case

Tomas Marek, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

BACKGROUND

Macrodystrophia lipomatosa (MDL) is characterized by progressive overgrowth affecting soft tissues and bony structures and is part of lipomatous overgrowth syndromes. MDL has been associated with lipomatosis of the nerve (LN), an adipose lesion of nerve that has a pathognomonic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance as well as a mutation in the PIK3CA gene. The authors present a case of occult LN in the setting of MDL.

OBSERVATIONS

A 2-year-old boy with progressive soft tissue overgrowth of his proximal right lower extremity was initially diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). At our institution, NF1 as well as other overgrowth syndromes including PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome were excluded. He was diagnosed as having so-called MDL. Upon reinterpretation of the patient’s MRI studies, short-segment LN involving the proximal sciatic nerve and part of lumbosacral plexus was identified. He underwent 2 debulking/liposuction procedures for soft tissue overgrowth. Genetic testing of tissue revealed a mutation in PIK3CA.

LESSONS

Thorough clinical examination (for signs of overgrowth) as well as an MRI study of the entire neural pathway is a critical part of the diagnostic workup to evaluate for LN. The authors believe that an increasing association of LN, even when occult, will emerge that will explain many cases with marked nerve-territory overgrowth.

Open access

Peroneal intraneural ganglion cyst with a nearly invisible joint connection (even to advocates of the articular theory): illustrative case

Karina A. Lenartowicz, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

BACKGROUND

The articular (synovial) theory describes the formation of intraneural ganglion cysts through defects in the capsule of synovial joints. While the articular theory is gaining significant traction in the literature, it is not universally accepted. Therefore, the authors present a case of a plainly visible peroneal intraneural cyst, although the subtle joint connection was not identified specifically at the time of surgery, with subsequent rapid extraneural cyst recurrence. The joint connection was not immediately evident on review of the magnetic resonance imaging, even to the authors who have a large experience with this clinical entity. The authors report this case to demonstrate that all intraneural ganglion cysts have joint connections, although they may be difficult to identify.

OBSERVATIONS

An occult joint connection in the intraneural ganglion poses a unique diagnostic and management dilemma. High-resolution imaging is a valuable tool used to identify the articular branch joint connection as part of the surgical planning.

LESSONS

Based on the articular theory, all intraneural ganglion cysts will have a joint connection through an articular branch, although this may be small or nearly invisible. Failure to appreciate this connection can lead to cyst recurrence. A high index of suspicion of the articular branch is needed for surgical planning.

Open access

Perineurioma of the sciatic nerve with reticular, microcystic, and pseudolipoblastic features: illustrative case

Karina A. Lenartowicz, Kimberly K. Amrami, Jorge Torres-Mora, and Robert J. Spinner

BACKGROUND

Perineuriomas are peripheral nerve sheath tumors that are composed of benign, localized proliferations of perineural cells and further subclassified as intraneural or extraneural (soft tissue) based on their relationship to the histological boundaries of the nerve. Multiple histological variants have been described, and herein the authors present the first known case of a pseudolipoblastic perineurioma affecting the nerve.

OBSERVATIONS

A 52-year-old woman presented with a 5-year history of progressive, severe left buttock pain radiating down to the top of her foot and ankle, without any associated weakness, with a large mass in her sciatic nerve noted on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). She underwent resection, which demonstrated a pseudolipoblastic perineurioma of the sciatic nerve, an unusual histological subtype composed of perineurial cells with an abundant clear intracytoplasmic background. Postoperatively, her pain resolved, and follow-up MRI showed no tumor persistence or recurrence.

LESSONS

On imaging, this lesion had a benign appearance, with areas suggestive of subacute hemorrhage, and was associated with a nerve. Although the distinctive morphological features of this lesion may suggest liposarcoma, careful morphological evaluation and appropriate immunohistochemical studies allow its correct classification.

Free access

Perineural spread of pelvic malignancies to the lumbosacral plexus and beyond: clinical and imaging patterns

Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECT

Perineural spread along pelvic autonomie nerves has emerged as a logical, anatomical explanation for selected cases of neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy (LSP) in patients with prostate, bladder, rectal, and cervical cancer. The authors wondered whether common radiological and clinical patterns shared by various types of pelvic cancer exist.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed their institutional series of 17 cases concluded as perineural tumor spread. All available history, physical examination, electrodiagnostic studies, biopsy data and imaging studies, evidence of other metastatic disease, and follow-up were recorded in detail. The series was divided into 2 groups: cases with neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy confirmed by biopsy (Group A) and cases included based on imaging characteristics despite the lack of biopsy or negative biopsy results (Group B).

RESULTS

Group A comprised 10 patients (mean age 69 years); 9 patients were symptomatic and 1 was asymptomatic. The L5–S1 spinal nerves and sciatic nerve were most frequently involved. Three patients had intradural extension. Seven patients were alive at last follow-up. Group B consisted of 7 patients (mean age 64 years); 4 patients were symptomatic, 2 were asymptomatic, and 1 had only imaging available. The L5–S1 spinal nerves and the sciatic nerve were most frequently involved. No patients had intradural extension. Four patients were alive at last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors provide a unifying theory to explain lumbosacral plexopathy in select cases of various pelvic neoplasms. The tumor cells can use splanchnic nerves as conduits and spread from the end organ to the lumbosacral plexus. Tumor can continue to spread along osseous and muscle nerve branches, resulting in muscle and bone “metastases.” Radiological studies show a reproducible, although nonspecific pattern, and the same applies to clinical presentation.

Full access

Tumoral calcinosis producing peripheral nerve compression

A report of two cases

Ziv Williams, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

✓Tumoral calcinosis is a rare disorder that leads to diffuse calcium phosphate deposition into soft tissue and may be seen in the setting of uremia, hyperparathyroidism, or vitamin D intoxication. This lesion can produce significant local pain and can limit mobility in large joints where it tends to occur. Less commonly, it may produce neurological symptoms by compressing or encompassing adjacent neurovascular structures. Tumoral calcinosis involving nerve structures is challenging to treat, primarily because of its extensive size and propensity to infiltrate. Although surgical intervention can often provide symptomatic improvement, this lesion tends to recur in the presence of elevated calcium phosphate levels, and its management therefore requires a combined multidisciplinary surgical and medical approach. The authors describe two cases in which patients developed tumoral calcinosis producing peripheral nerve compression and discuss their respective surgical and medical management.

Restricted access

Letter to the Editor: Addendum: Evidence supports a “no-touch” approach to neuromuscular choristoma

Marie-Noëlle Hébert-Blouin, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

Restricted access

Sciatic nerve lipomatosis and knee osteochondroma

Case illustration

Mark A. Mahan, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

Restricted access

Medial plantar nerve compression by a tibial artery schwannoma

Case report

Robert J. Spinner, Bernd W. Scheithauer, and Kimberly K. Amrami

✓ The authors describe the case of a patient with a novel cause of medial plantar symptoms due to extrinsic compression by a schwannoma arising within the adventitia of the tibial artery in the ankle region. Additionally they provide the operative, histological, and imaging findings.

Restricted access

A new pattern of lipomatosis of nerve: case report

Nikhil K. Prasad, Mark A. Mahan, Benjamin M. Howe, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

Lipomatosis of nerve (LN) is a rare disorder of peripheral nerves that produces proliferation of interfascicular adipose tissue. It may be associated with soft-tissue and bony overgrowth within the affected nerve territory. LN has been almost exclusively reported in appendicular peripheral nerves; the median nerve at the wrist and palm is among the most common locations. The authors present a new pattern of LN that shows circumferential proliferation of fat around the epineurium of the nerve. They believe that this case and the two other documented examples in the literature (also affecting cervical and thoracic spinal nerves) share the same new pattern of LN. Defining the full spectrum of adipose lesions of the nerve and establishing a cause-effect relationship with nerve-territory overgrowth disorders may offer options for future management through targeted nerve lesioning.

Free access

Perineural spread of peripheral neurolymphomatosis to the cauda equina

Nikhil K. Murthy, Kimberly K. Amrami, Stephen M. Broski, Patrick B. Johnston, and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECTIVE

Neurolymphomatosis (NL) is a rare manifestation of lymphoma confined to the peripheral nervous system that is poorly understood. It can be found in the cauda equina, but extraspinal disease can be underappreciated. The authors describe how extraspinal NL progresses to the cauda equina by perineural spread and the implications of this on timely and safe diagnostic options.

METHODS

The authors used the Mayo Clinic medical records database to find cases of cauda equina NL with sufficient imaging to characterize the lumbosacral plexus diagnosed from tissue biopsy. Demographics (sex, age), clinical data (initial symptoms, cerebrospinal fluid, evidence of CNS involvement, biopsy location, primary or secondary disease), and imaging findings were reviewed.

RESULTS

Ten patients met inclusion and exclusion criteria, and only 2 of 10 patients presented with cauda equina symptoms at the time of biopsy, with 1 patient undergoing a cauda equina biopsy. Eight patients were diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, 1 with low-grade B-cell lymphoma, and 1 with mantle cell lymphoma. Isolated spinal nerve involvement was identified in 5 of 10 cases, providing compelling evidence regarding the pathophysiology of NL. The conus medullaris was not radiologically involved in any case. Lumbosacral plexus MRI was able to identify extraspinal disease and offered diagnostically useful biopsy targets. FDG PET/CT was relatively insensitive for detecting disease in the cauda equina but was helpful in identifying extraspinal NL.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors propose that perineural spread of extraspinal NL to infiltrate the cauda equina occurs in two phases. 1) There is proximal and distal spread along a peripheral nerve, with eventual spread to anatomically connected nerves via junction and branch points. 2) The tumor cells enter the spinal canal through corresponding neural foramina and propagate along the spinal nerves composing the cauda equina. To diffusely infiltrate the cauda equina, a third phase occurs in which tumor cells can spread circumdurally to the opposite side of the spinal canal and enter contralateral nerve roots extending proximally and distally. This spread of disease can lead to diffuse bilateral spinal nerve disease without diffuse leptomeningeal spread. Recognition of this phasic mechanism can lead to identification of safer extraspinal biopsy targets that could allow for greater functional recovery after appropriate treatment.