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Ulrich-Wilhelm Thomale and Matthias Schulz

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Stefan-Nikolaus Kroppenstedt, Thomas Liebig, Wolf Mueller, Klaus-Jürgen Gräf, Wolfgang Reinhard Lanksch and Andreas Wilhelm Unterberg

✓ The presence of an abscess in a pituitary tumor is a very rare finding. The authors report the case of a 69-year-old man with a pituitary adenoma confirmed by neuroimaging results, in whom a high fever, meningismus, and left-sided ophthalmoplegia developed 4 days after tooth extraction. The results of serial cranial magnetic resonance imaging were highly indicative of an abscess formation within the pituitary adenoma. During surgery the tumor was approached transsphenoidally and removed. Histological examination confirmed the presence of an abscess formation within the pituitary adenoma. It is most likely that the tooth extraction caused a bacteremia, which led to an inflammation with abscess formation within the pituitary adenoma. The authors conclude that invasive dental procedures should be avoided before planned resection of a pituitary adenoma.

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Duncan Henderson, Hugh P. Sims-Williams, Thomas Wilhelm, Helen Sims-Williams, Sanjay Bhagani and Lewis Thorne

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a global health problem. It renders the central nervous system susceptible to infectious and noninfectious diseases. HIV-positive individuals may present to neurosurgical services with brain lesions of unknown etiology. The differential diagnosis in these cases is broad, including opportunistic infections and malignancies, and investigation should be tailored accordingly. Opportunistic infections of the central nervous system can be complicated by hydrocephalus, and the management is pathogen dependent. Patients may also present to a neurosurgical service with conditions unrelated to their HIV status.

This review outlines important conditions that cause brain lesions and hydrocephalus. It addresses the issues of diagnosis and intervention in HIV-positive patients in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy, while not ignoring the potential for opportunistic central nervous system infection in undiagnosed patients.

The care of HIV-positive patients presenting to neurosurgical services requires a multidisciplinary approach, which is reflected in the authorship of this review, as well as in the guidance given.