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Albert J. Fenoy, Arnold H. Menezes, Kathleen A. Donovan and Stephen F. Kralik


Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) deposition is a rare cause of retroodontoid mass lesions in elderly individuals. However, this condition may be severely underdiagnosed if sufficient attention is not paid to imaging characteristics and clinical presentation. The authors sought to evaluate the decision-making process in both the diagnosis and surgical treatment of CPPD.


A retrospective review of University of Iowa medical records and radiographs accumulated between 1977 and 2006 was performed. The inclusion criterion was histopathological findings consistent with pseudogout at the craniovertebral junction (CVJ). Twenty-one patients with a mean age of 70.3 years and a mean symptom duration prior to presentation of 17.5 months were identified and included in this study.


The patients presented most frequently with occipital and neck pain (85%) and numbness or paresthesias (61%). Lower cranial nerve deficits were seen in 29%. Calcification of the mass or transverse ligament was seen on computed tomography in all included patients. Gross-total resection was achieved in all patients: 19 of 21 patients underwent transoral–transpalatopharyngeal resection, with only 16 requiring concomitant dorsal occipital–cervical fusion. The mean follow-up duration was 15 months. Eighteen patients (86%) had improvement or resolution of symptoms after treatment, and 3 were lost to follow-up.


Although rare, CPPD deposition at the CVJ should be suspected on finding calcification of and around the transverse ligament on neuroimaging. Transoral–transpalatopharyngeal resection is preferred to halt the progression of neurological deterioration; dorsal fusion is not always mandatory as concomitant ligamentous calcification and atlantoaxial joint ankylosis may provide added stability.

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Aditya Vedantam, Katie M. Stormes, Nisha Gadgil, Stephen F. Kralik, Guillermo Aldave and Sandi K. Lam


Resection of posterior fossa tumors in children may be associated with persistent neurological deficits. It is unclear if these neurological deficits are associated with persistent structural damage to the cerebellar pathways. The purpose of this research was to define longitudinal changes in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics in white matter cerebellar tracts and the clinical correlates of these metrics in children undergoing resection of posterior fossa tumors.


Longitudinal brain DTI was performed in a cohort of pediatric patients who underwent resection of posterior fossa tumors. Fractional anisotropy (FA) of the superior cerebellar peduncles (SCPs) and middle cerebellar peduncles (MCPs) was measured on preoperative, postoperative, and follow-up DTI. Early postoperative (< 48 hours) and longer-term follow-up neurological deficits (mutism, ataxia, and extraocular movement dysfunction) were documented. Statistical analysis was performed to determine differences in FA values based on presence or absence of neurological deficits. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.


Twenty children (mean age 6.1 ± 4.1 years [SD], 12 males and 8 females) were included in this study. Follow-up DTI was performed at a median duration of 14.3 months after surgery, and the median duration of follow-up was 19.7 months. FA of the left SCP was significantly reduced on postoperative DTI in comparison with preoperative DTI (0.44 ± 0.07 vs 0.53 ± 0.1, p = 0.003). Presence of ataxia at follow-up was associated with a persistent reduction in the left SCP FA on follow-up DTI (0.43 ± 0.1 vs 0.55 ± 0.1, p = 0.016). Patients with early postoperative mutism who did not recover at follow-up had significantly decreased FA of the left SCP on early postoperative DTI in comparison with those who recovered (0.38 ± 0.05 vs 0.48 ± 0.06, p = 0.04).


DTI after resection of posterior fossa tumors in children shows that persistent reduction of SCP FA is associated with ataxia at follow-up.