Sudden death from diffuse leptomeningeal oligodendrogliomatosis

Case report

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  • 1 Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery and
  • 2 Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
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In this paper the authors describe the rare disorder of diffuse leptomeningeal oligodendrogliomatosis in a patient with an oligodendroglioma of the cauda equina who died suddenly. Reviewing this uncommon pathological entity is important so that it can be recognized and treated appropriately. This young, otherwise healthy woman with initial symptoms of low-back pain had a mass lesion of the cauda equina. During a workup, profound refractory intracranial hypertension suddenly developed despite aggressive surgical and medical intervention. Autopsy revealed a spinal cord oligodendroglioma with diffuse leptomeningeal oligodendrogliomatosis of the brain and spinal cord. Given the unforeseen outcome in this patient, this entity, although rare, should be considered in patients with similar presentations and addressed early to prevent similar outcomes. A review of the details of this case as well as the literature is presented below.

Abbreviation used in this paper: ICP = intracranial pressure.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Renee M. Reynolds, M.D., Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, Box 3807, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710. email: renee.reynolds@duke.edu.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online September 2, 2011; DOI: 10.3171/2011.7.SPINE10728.

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