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Sarah Jernigan, Armide Storey, Christine Hammer, Coleman Riordan, Darren B. Orbach, R. Michael Scott and Edward Smith

OBJECTIVE

PHACE syndrome (PHACES) has been linked to cervical and cerebral vascular anomalies, including persistent embryonic anastomoses and progressive steno-occlusive disease. However, no prior studies have documented the long-term response of PHACES patients with moyamoya disease to surgical revascularization with pial or myosynangiosis. The authors present their experience with 8 consecutive patients with PHACES and moyamoya disease.

METHODS

Retrospective review of patients who underwent pial synangiosis revascularization for moyamoya disease with concurrent diagnosis of PHACES.

RESULTS

A total of 8 patients out of 456 surgically treated moyamoya patients had a diagnosis of PHACES. All patients were female, and their average age at the time of surgical treatment was 9.3 years (range 1.8–25.8 years). Five patients had associated basilar artery anomalies or stenosis. All patients had symptomatic narrowing of the petrous segment of the internal carotid artery with tortuous collateralization. Three patients underwent unilateral pial or myo-synangiosis and 5 underwent bilateral procedures. The average hospital length of stay was 5.0 days (range 3–7 days). There were no postoperative complications. Follow-up ranged from 8 to 160 months (average 56 months). Seven of 8 patients have had follow-up angiograms and all had Matsushima grade A or B collateralization without progression of stenosis in other locations. All patients had reduced cortical FLAIR signal on 6-month follow-up MRI and no evidence of new radiographic or clinical strokes.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with moyamoya disease and PHACES had an intracranial arteriopathy characterized by ectactic anterior vasculature with concomitant basilar artery stenosis, and were all female. The patients had both radiographic and clinical responses to pial synangiosis. The surgical treatment of these patients can be challenging given facial hemangiomas located near the surgical field. Patients with unilateral disease did not have evidence of progression in other cerebral circulation during the given follow-up period.

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Alexander Hammer, Dorit Wolff, Walter Geißdörfer, Michael Schrey, Renate Ziegler, Hans-Herbert Steiner and Christian Bogdan

The authors describe the case of a 40-year-old man suffering from an epidural abscess in the thoracic spine due to a rarely isolated pathogen, Streptobacillus moniliformis, the causative agent of rat bite fever. Besides diffuse abdominal pain, ataxia, paresthesia, hypesthesia, and enhanced reflexes of the lower extremities, the patient suffered from a decreased sensation of bladder filling. His history was also positive for a rat bite 6 weeks earlier. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an epidural, space-occupying lesion compressing the spinal cord at the vertebral levels of T6–8. Neurosurgery revealed an epidural abscess, which was drained via laminectomy (T-7) and excision of the ligamentum flavum (T6–8). The etiological agent S. moniliformis was identified by 16S rRNA-based polymerase chain reaction and sequencing as well as by culture and mass spectrometry. Treatment with penicillin G led to complete resolution of the abscess and clinical recovery of the patient, who regained his bladder-filling sensation and free walking ability.

This case demonstrates that careful attention to the patient's history is essential in suspecting unusual bacterial pathogens as the cause of an epidural abscess and initiating the optimal diagnostic procedure and antimicrobial therapy.