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Diffuse and uncontrolled vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation in rapidly progressing pediatric moyamoya disease

Case report

Amy J. Reid, Meenakshi B. Bhattacharjee, Ellen S. Regalado, Allen L. Milewicz, Lisa M. El-Hakam, Robert C. Dauser, and Dianna M. Milewicz

Moyamoya disease is a rare stroke syndrome of unknown etiology resulting from stenosis or occlusion of the supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) in association with an abnormal vascular network in the basal ganglia. Although the highest incidence of moyamoya disease is in pediatric patients, pathology reports have been primarily limited to adult samples and describe occlusive fibrocellular lesions in the intimae of affected arteries.

We describe the case of a young girl with primary moyamoya disease who presented at 18 months of age with right hemiparesis following an ischemic stroke. Angiography showed stenosis of the distal left ICA, left middle cerebral artery, and right ICA. An emergent left-sided dural inversion was performed. Recurrent strokes and alternating hemiplegia necessitated a right dural inversion 6 months later. Nonetheless, her aggressive disease proved uniquely refractory to surgical revascularization, and she succumbed to recurrent strokes and neurological deterioration at 2.5 years of age. Pathological specimens revealed a striking bilateral occlusion of the anterior carotid circulation resulting from intimal proliferation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Most strikingly, the ascending aorta and the superior mesenteric artery demonstrated similar intimal proliferation, along with SMC proliferation in the media. The systemic pathology involving multiple arteries in this extremely young child, the first case of its kind available for autopsy, suggests that globally uncontrolled SMC proliferation, in the absence of environmental risk factors and likely resulting from an underlying genetic alteration, may be a primary etiologic event leading to moymoya disease.

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Diagnosing cranial fasciitis based on distinguishing radiological features

Report of 4 cases

Keyne K. Johnson, Mark J. Dannenbaum, Meenakshi B. Bhattacharjee, Anna Illner, Robert C. Dauser, William E. Whitehead, Andrew Jea, and Thomas G. Luerssen

Primary skull lesions, albeit rare in the pediatric population, have been well described and classified. These lesions are usually benign and commonly present as a painless mass. The most common lesions are epidermoid, dermoid, and Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Cranial fasciitis, encountered less frequently, is usually not considered in this differential diagnosis. Given such few cases reported, it is commonly misdiagnosed preoperatively.

The authors retrospectively reviewed data obtained in 4 patients with cranial fasciitis in whom the diagnosis was based on histopathological findings. In 2 patients the onset of the lesion was spontaneous. One patient had a lesion 4 months following a vacuum extraction and subsequent cephalohematoma formation. One patient developed a lesion following a previous craniectomy. Presentation, imaging studies, and histopathological findings were all reviewed and analyzed. All patients presented with a firm nontender mass. Radiological features included a lytic bone lesion with a mildly sclerotic margin, T1 isodensity, T2 heterogeneous hyperdensity, and heterogeneous enhancement. The enhancing portion was not bright on T2-weighted MR images, likely representing the fibrous component; the nonenhancing portion was bright on T2-weighted images, likely representing the myxoid matrix. Histopathological examination revealed proliferating fibroblasts in a myxoid matrix.

Cranial fasciitis is a benign, painless but rapidly growing lesion of the skull mainly limited to the pediatric population. It is histologically similar to nodular fasciitis, a fibroblastic proliferation of varying size. These lesions are often related to trauma but can also be insidious or can develop at a prior craniectomy site. The appropriate clinical picture and distinguishing radiographic features may help to differentiate cranial fasciitis from other lesions of the skull allowing for earlier intervention.

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Anaplastic ganglioglioma arising from a Lhermitte–Duclos-like lesion

Case report

Hidehiro Takei, Robert Dauser, Jack Su, Murali Chintagumpala, Meenakshi B. Bhattacharjee, Jeremy Jones, and Adekunle M. Adesina

✓The authors report the case of a 7-year-old boy with a history of developmental delay who presented with aggressive behavior. A magnetic resonance (MR) image showed a mass lesion originating from the cerebellar vermis with an atypical folial pattern and contrast enhancement. Histologically, the subtotally resected specimen consisted mostly of neuropil with nodular foci of ganglion cells. Lhermitte–Duclos disease (LDD) was diagnosed in the patient. A retrospective review of the tissue sections showed a nidus of associated astrocytic proliferation, suggesting a diagnosis of ganglioglioma. Five years later, the patient experienced an altered mental state and a facial droop. An MR image revealed a cerebellar mass with cystic areas and an enhancing nodule. The resected tissue specimen consisted primarily of a mixed proliferation of glial and ganglion cells consistent with a ganglioglioma. Two years later, a third craniectomy was performed in the patient for worsening headache and ataxia. Histologically, the tumor showed progressive anaplasia and was most accurately classified as an anaplastic ganglioglioma. Immunohistochemically, most of the tumor cells were immunoreactive for anti-phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and phospho-S6 ribosomal protein antibodies. In contrast, the subpopulation of neoplastic ganglion cells in the tissue, particularly from the first surgery, did not express phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted from chromosome 10 (PTEN). This immunohistochemical pattern suggests that the large dysplastic ganglion cells (the gangliocytomatous component) forming the greater part of the lesion were associated with activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase–PTEN/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, a feature previously reported in LDD. This case represents the first report of an anaplastic ganglioglioma arising in an LDD-like lesion.

Open access

Neurofibroma of the internal carotid artery cavernous sympathetic plexus: illustrative case

Duncan J. Trimble, Bryden H. Dawes, Hussein A. Zeineddine, Katie B. Guttenberg, William C. Yao, Meenakshi Bhattacharjee, and Spiros L. Blackburn


Intracranial carotid sympathetic plexus (CSP) nerve sheath tumors have rarely been reported in the literature. This study describes the first reported case of a CSP neurofibroma and the first case of a CSP nerve sheath tumor treated via an endoscopic endonasal approach followed by adjuvant radiosurgery.


A 53-year-old man presented with 3 days of headaches and diplopia and was found to have a complete left abducens nerve palsy. Computed tomography (CT) revealed a smoothly dilated left carotid canal, CT angiography revealed a superiorly displaced left internal carotid artery (ICA), and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a T2-hyperintense and avidly enhancing lesion in the left cavernous sinus encasing the ICA. The patient underwent subtotal resection via an endoscopic transsphenoidal transcavernous approach followed by Gamma Knife radiosurgery.


Nerve sheath tumors arising from the CSP are extremely rare but need to be considered when assessing unusual cavernous sinus lesions. The clinical presentation is dependent on the anatomical location of the tumor and its relationship to the ICA. The optimal treatment paradigm is unknown.

Free access

Filamin A–negative hyaline astrocytic inclusions in pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy: report of 2 cases

Grant M. Fischer, Elmira Vaziri Fard, Manish N. Shah, Rajan P. Patel, Gretchen Von Allmen, Leomar Y. Ballester, and Meenakshi B. Bhattacharjee

Although rare, hyaline cytoplasmic inclusions isolated to astrocytes of the cerebral cortex have been identified in a spectrum of diseases ranging from intractable epilepsy in pediatric patients with only mild to moderate developmental delays to Aicardi syndrome. These inclusions classically stain positive for filamin A, giving rise to the term “filaminopathies.” The authors report on 2 pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy and developmental delay who uniquely displayed filamin A–negative hyaline astrocytic inclusions in resected brain tissues. Additionally, these inclusions stained positive for S100 and negative for glial fibrillary acidic protein, chromogranin, neurofilament, CD34, vimentin, periodic acid–Schiff (PAS), and Alcian blue. These are the first reported cases of filamin A–negative hyaline astrocytic inclusions, providing a novel variation on a previously reported entity and justification to further investigate the pathogenesis of these inclusions. The authors compare their findings with previously reported cases and review the literature on hyaline astrocytic inclusions in intractable pediatric epilepsy.