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Travis Quinoa, Fareed Jumah, Vinayak Narayan, Zhenggang Xiong, Anil Nanda and Simon Hanft

Central nervous system infections in immunosuppressed patients are rare but potentially lethal complications that require swift diagnoses and intervention. While the differential diagnosis for new lesions on neuroradiological imaging of immunosuppressed patients typically includes infections and neoplasms, image-based heuristics to differentiate the two has been shown to have variable reliability.

The authors describe 2 rare CNS infections in immunocompromised patients with atypical physical and radiological presentations. In the first case, a 59-year-old man, who had recently undergone a renal transplantation, was found to have multifocal Nocardia amikacinitolerans abscesses masquerading as neoplasms on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI); in the second case, a 33-year-old man with suspected recurrent Hodgkin’s lymphoma was found to have a nonpyogenic abscess with cytomegalovirus (CMV) encephalitis.

As per review of the literature, this appears to be the first case of brain abscess caused by N. amikacinitolerans, a recently isolated superbug. Despite confirmation through brain biopsy later on in case 1, the initial radiological appearance was atypical, showing subtle diffusion restriction on DWI. Similarly, the authors present a case of CMV encephalitis that presented as a ring-enhancing lesion, which is extremely rare. Both cases draw attention to the reliability of neuroimaging in differentiating an abscess from a neoplasm.

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Zachary A. Smith, Parham Moftakhar, Dennis Malkasian, Zhenggang Xiong, Harry V. Vinters and Jorge A. Lazareff

✓Diffuse villous hyperplasia of the choroid plexus is a rare but potential source of nonobstructive hydrocephalus. In addition to discussing the authors' staged surgical approach and medical management decisions in a patient with this rare and challenging condition, immunohistochemical studies of the choroid plexus epithelium are presented to examine the pathophysiological factors involved in abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) production in this disease.

The patient, a 15-month-old girl born at 36 weeks' gestation, underwent a bilateral craniotomy with resection of the choroid plexus to treat her villous hyperplasia. Immunohistochemical studies of the resected choroid plexus were conducted for the purpose of examining the carbonic anhydrase II (CAII) enzyme and the aquaporin 1 (AQP1) membrane protein. Results were compared with immunohistochemical studies conducted in a small series of autopsy specimens of normal human choroid plexuses. There was no change in the immunoreactivity of CAII in the patient with villous hyperplasia compared with normal controls, whereas AQP1 immunoreactivity was significantly weaker in the patient compared with normal controls. Postoperatively, the patient's CSF overproduction resolved and her neurological symptoms improved over time.

Shunting techniques and presently available pharmaceutical treatments alone do not provide adequate treatment of high-output CSF conditions. Surgical removal of the affected choroid plexus is a feasible and effective treatment. Results of the immunohistochemical studies reported here support the suggestion that the CAII enzyme is retained in villous hyperplasia of the choroid plexus. However, there appears to be decreased expression and perhaps downregulation of AQP1 in villous hyperplasia compared with normal choroid plexus. Future studies may elucidate the significance of these observations.