Fusarium species intramedullary spinal cord fungus ball: case report

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The Fusarium species are one of the most common opportunistic fungal infections occurring in immunocompromised patients and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Common sites of infection include blood, skin, nasal passages, lungs, bone, and other visceral organs. There is a paucity of literature on Fusarium infections in the brain, and the true nature and extent of central nervous system involvement is not well described. To the authors’ knowledge, there have been no reported cases of Fusarium infection of the spine. The authors report the case of a man with acute myeloblastic leukemia and resultant pancytopenia who presented with fungal sinusitis, upper- and lower-extremity weakness, and cardiopulmonary arrest. Imaging studies revealed a spinal cervical intramedullary ring-enhancing lesion. Because of the progressive nature of his symptoms, neurosurgical intervention involving a C2–3 laminectomy and drainage of the lesion was performed. Intraoperative cultures and histopathology results were positive for Fusarium species and, along with intraoperative findings, were consistent with a fungus ball. The patient was placed on a regimen of intravenous and intrathecal antifungal therapy. Unfortunately, his clinical condition declined postoperatively, and he ultimately died of disseminated infection.

ABBREVIATIONS AML = acute myeloblastic leukemia; SIMA = spinal intramedullary abscess.
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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Andrew J. Fabiano: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY. andrew.fabiano@roswellpark.org.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online May 10, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2019.2.SPINE181286.Disclosures Dr. Fabiano receives research support from Arbor Phamaceuticals.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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