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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

Localized anaplastic lymphoma kinase–positive histiocytosis in a cerebellar hemisphere with long-term treatment: illustrative case

Eita Kumagai, Mio Tanaka, Fuminori Iwasaki, Masakatsu Yanagimachi, Daisuke Hirokawa, Hiroaki Goto, and Yukichi Tanaka

BACKGROUND

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)–positive histiocytosis (ALK-H) is an emerging entity in the category of histiocytic neoplasms that was first reported as a multisystemic disease in three infants in 2008. The clinicopathological spectrum of ALK-H has been expanded to include localized disorders in specific organs, but the features of this subtype are not well known. The authors report a case of ALK-H localized in the central nervous system that was difficult to treat and review the relevant literature.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors reviewed archival histiocytic tumors at their institute and found a pediatric case of ALK-H localized in a cerebellar hemisphere that had previously been reported as histiocytic sarcoma. Chemotherapy (approximately 1 year), additional surgery, and conventional chemotherapy (approximately 2.5 years) led to clinical remission, and maintenance chemotherapy was continued (approximately 1.5 years). Three years after completing treatment, a high-grade glioma was found in a cerebral hemisphere, and the patient died of the glioma 2 years later.

LESSONS

Although the prognosis of ALK-H is generally good according to prior cases, the authors’ case required long-term conventional chemotherapy, suggesting the tumor displayed aggressive characteristics. Early administration of ALK inhibitors may be necessary.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

Primary intraosseous xanthoma of the frontal bone in a child: illustrative case

Peter J Madsen, Adam J Kundishora, Benjamin C Reeves, Anne M Coyle, Daniel T Nagasawa, Judith M Wong, Isaac Yang, and Alexander M Tucker

BACKGROUND

Skull lesions are a common finding in children, with dermoid cysts and eosinophilic granulomas observed most frequently. However, primary intraosseous xanthomas of the calvaria, which are lytic, expansile lesions that develop without underlying hyperlipidemic disease, are rare in children, with only one prior case reported.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe the case of a healthy 6-year-old male who presented with a 2-month history of an enlarging midline skull mass that developed after a recent minor trauma. Imaging showed a full-thickness, lytic frontal bone lesion with an aggressive appearance and heterogeneous contrast enhancement. The patient underwent gross-total resection of the lesion with placement of a mesh cranioplasty. Histopathology revealed a primary intraosseous xanthoma. The patient was discharged on postoperative day 2 and required no further treatment at the 1-month follow-up.

LESSONS

This is the first reported case of a primary intraosseous xanthoma in the frontal bone of a pediatric patient. It emphasizes the need to include primary xanthomas in the differential diagnosis for pediatric skull lesions, particularly when the lesion has an aggressive radiographic appearance or the patient has a history of focal trauma. Furthermore, our findings indicate that resection, together with subsequent monitoring for lesion reccurrence, is an adequate first-line treatment.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

A child with unilateral abducens nerve palsy and neurovascular compression in Chiari malformation type 1 resolved with posterior fossa decompression: illustrative case

Olivia A Kozel, Belinda Shao, Cody A Doberstein, Natalie Amaral-Nieves, Matthew N Anderson, Gita V Harappanahally, Michael A Langue, and Konstantina A Svokos

BACKGROUND

Unilateral cranial nerve (CN) VI, or abducens nerve, palsy is rare in children and has not been reported in association with Chiari malformation type 1 (CM1) in the absence of other classic CM1 symptoms.

OBSERVATIONS

A 3-year-old male presented with acute incomitant esotropia consistent with a unilateral, left CN VI palsy and no additional neurological symptoms. Imaging demonstrated CM1 without hydrocephalus or papilledema, as well as an anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) vessel loop in the immediate vicinity of the left abducens nerve. Given the high risk of a skull base approach for direct microvascular decompression of the abducens nerve and the absence of other classic Chiari symptoms, the patient was initially observed. However, as his palsy progressed, he underwent posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD), with the aim of restoring global cerebrospinal fluid dynamics and decreasing possible AICA compression of the left abducens nerve. Postoperatively, his symptoms completely resolved.

LESSONS

In this first reported case of CM1 presenting as a unilateral abducens palsy in a young child, possibly caused by neurovascular compression, the patient’s symptoms resolved after indirect surgical decompression via PFDD.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

Cartilage within lipomyelomeningocele and ulnar longitudinal deficiency syndrome as VACTERL association, alliance in SHH/GLI3, and Wnt pathway: illustrative case

Mikael Aseged Shimekit, Ermias Fikru Yesuf, Simon Mulugeta Teferi, and Mahlet Getachew Lemma

BACKGROUND

Lipomyelomeningocele associated with an ulnar club hand in the spectrum of VACTERL association ([costo-]vertebral abnormalities; anal atresia; cardiac defects; tracheal-esophageal abnomalities, including atresia, stenosis, and fistula; renal and radial abnormalities; limb abnormalities; single umbilical artery) is a very rare and infrequently reported phenomenon. Within the fat mass of the lipoma, it is not common to find a well-defined cartilaginous mass with no attachments to the surrounding tissue.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 3-month-old male with low-back swelling that was off-center to the left, accompanied by a left short forearm displaying outward bowing. Echocardiography showed an atrial septal defect. This rare VACTERL association comprises lipomyelomeningocele, atrial septal defect, and ulnar longitudinal deficiency syndrome. During surgical intervention for the lipoma, a well-defined cartilaginous mass was discovered within the adipose tissue.

LESSONS

The manifestation of VACTERL association can be partially explained by the Shh/Gli and Wnt pathway defects. It is prudent to screen children with neural tube defects to be aware of any associated syndromes. This case is very rare, and the literature has contained no prior report on the VACTERL association of lipomyelomeningocele, atrial septal defect, and ulnar longitudinal deficiency.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

Epidural lipomatosis with foci of hemorrhage and acute compression of the spinal cord in a child with CLOVES syndrome: illustrative case

Dmytro Ishchenko, Iryna Benzar, and Andrii Holoborodko

BACKGROUND

Congenital lipomatous overgrowth, vascular malformations, epidermal nevi, spinal/skeletal anomalies, and/or scoliosis (CLOVES) syndrome is the most recently described combined vascular anomaly characterized by congenital excessive growth of adipose tissue, vascular malformations, epidermal nevi, and skeletal deformities. This condition exhibits a significant variability in clinical manifestations and a tendency for rapid progression and affects extensive anatomical regions. Information regarding the association of epidural lipomatosis with low-flow venous lymphatic malformations is rare, with few reports in the literature.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a 6-year-old girl who was admitted to the emergency department complaining of rapidly progressing weakness in her lower extremities and partial loss of sensation in the inguinal area. Radiologically, an extradural mass was identified at the T2–6 level, causing acute spinal cord compression. Urgent decompression and partial resection of the mass were performed. Despite satisfactory intraoperative hemo- and lymphostasis, postoperative lymphorrhea/seroma leakage was encountered as a delayed complication and was managed conservatively.

LESSONS

CLOVES syndrome is characterized by the combination of various clinical symptoms, not all of which are included in the abbreviation, as well as a progressively deteriorating course, the emergence of new symptoms, and complications throughout the patient’s life. This necessitates ongoing monitoring of such patients.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

Isolated calvarial aneurysmal bone cyst in a pediatric patient: illustrative case

Amanda Muhs Saratsis, Nahren Asado, John Ruge, and Daphne Li

BACKGROUND

Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABCs) are benign, osteolytic lesions that can occur in long bones, vertebrae, or rarely, the skull. Here the authors present the case of a 15-year-old male with a primary ABC of the left frontoparietal skull along with a review of the literature to provide insight into the nature of this rare disease.

OBSERVATIONS

An otherwise healthy 15-year-old male presented with a tense, painful lesion of the left frontoparietal scalp. He could not identify any inciting trauma, but first noted the lesion less than 2 weeks prior to presentation with progressive enlargement. Cranial imaging revealed a lytic skull lesion with fluid-fluid levels suggestive of ABC. Curative therapy was provided via wide excision of the lesion and calvarial reconstruction of the resultant skull defect. This was performed without complication, and histopathological evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of primary ABC.

LESSONS

ABCs of the skull are rare entities and most often arise in the skull base versus the calvaria. Typically, these lesions are associated with an underlying bone pathology (secondary ABCs) but can be rarely seen as isolated lesions (primary ABCs). Clinical management consists of excision and adjuvant therapy for underlying pathology where appropriate.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

Cervicothoracic ventral-dorsal rhizotomy for bilateral upper-extremity hypertonia in cerebral palsy: illustrative case

Ryan Kelly, Hanna R Kemeny, Sunny Abdelmageed, Robin Trierweiler, Tim Krater, Melissa A LoPresti, and Jeffrey S Raskin

BACKGROUND

Management of medically refractory limb-specific hypertonia is challenging. Neurosurgical options include deep brain stimulation, intrathecal baclofen, thalamotomy, pallidotomy, or rhizotomy. Cervical dorsal rhizotomy has been successful in the treatment of upper-extremity spasticity. Cervical ventral and cervical ventral-dorsal rhizotomy (VDR) has been used in the treatment or torticollis and traumatic hypertonia; however, the use of cervicothoracic VDR for the treatment of upper-extremity mixed hypertonia is not well described.

OBSERVATIONS

A 9-year-old girl with severe quadriplegic mixed hypertonia secondary to cerebral palsy (CP) underwent cervicothoracic VDR. Modified Ashworth Scale scores, provision of caregiving, and examination improved. Treatment was well tolerated.

LESSONS

Cervicothoracic VDR can afford symptomatic and quality of life improvement in patients with medically refractory limb hypertonia. Intraoperative positioning and nuances in surgical techniques are particularly important based on spinal cord position as modified by scoliosis. Here, the first successful use of cervicothoracic VDR for the treatment of medically refractory upper-limb hypertonia in a pediatric patient with CP is described.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

First use of intraventricular nicardipine in a pediatric patient with vasospasm secondary to meningitis: illustrative case

V. Jane Horak, Nirali Patel, Sunny Abdelmageed, Jonathan Scoville, Melissa A LoPresti, and Sandi Lam

BACKGROUND

Cerebral vasospasm is commonly associated with adult aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage but can develop in children. The standard vasospasm treatment includes induced hypertension, avoidance of hypovolemia, systemic use of the calcium channel blocker (CCB) nimodipine, and cerebral angiography for intraarterial therapy. Emerging treatments in adults, such as intraventricular CCB administration, have not been investigated in children. This study demonstrates the successful use of an intraventricular CCB in a pediatric patient with refractory vasospasm secondary to meningitis.

OBSERVATIONS

A 12-year-old female presented with Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis and ventriculitis with refractory symptomatic cerebral vasospasm. She received a 5-day course of intrathecal nicardipine through an existing external ventricular drain. Her clinical status, transcranial Doppler studies, and radiography improved. Treatment was well tolerated.

LESSONS

Pediatric vasospasm is uncommon and potentially devastating. The management of vasospasm in adults occurs frequently. Principles of this management are adapted to pediatric care given the rarity of vasospasm in children. The use of intraventricular nicardipine has been reported in the care of adults with level 3 evidence. It has not been adequately reported in children with refractory vasospasm. Here, the first use of intraventricular nicardipine in treating pediatric cerebral vasospasm in the setting of meningitis is described and highlighted.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

Isolated unilateral alar ligamentous injury: illustrative cases

Benjamin C Reeves, Marcus Valcarce-Aspegren, Stephanie M Robert, Aladine A Elsamadicy, Alexander M Tucker, Phillip B Storm, Michael L DiLuna, and Adam J Kundishora

BACKGROUND

Isolated unilateral alar ligament injury (IUALI) is a rare and likely underreported occurrence after upper cervical trauma, with only 16 cases documented in the literature to date. Patients generally present with neck pain, and definitive diagnosis is typically made by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Unfortunately, likely due in part to its rarity, there are no formal guidelines for the treatment of an IUALI. Furthermore, there is a limited understanding of the long-term consequences associated with its inadequate treatment.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors report on three pediatric patients, each found to have an IUALI after significant trauma. All patients presented with neck tenderness, and two of the three had associated pain-limited range of neck motion. Imaging revealed either a laterally deviated odontoid process on cervical radiographs and/or MRI evidence of ligamentous strain or discontinuity. Each patient was placed in a hard cervical collar for 1 to 2 months with excellent resolution of symptoms. A comprehensive review of the literature showed that all patients with IUALI who had undergone external immobilization with either rigid cervical collar or halo fixation had favorable outcomes at follow-up.

LESSONS

For patients with IUALI, a moderate course of nonsurgical management with rigid external immobilization appears to be an adequate first-line treatment.

Open access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

Infantile traumatic pericallosal aneurysm: illustrative case

Zachary S Hubbard, Conor M Cunningham, Brian F Saway, Matthew J Triano, Aaron T Miller, Guilherme Porto, Libby Kosnik Infinger, and Alejandro M Spiotta

BACKGROUND

Traumatic aneurysms are a rare sequela of nonaccidental head trauma in infants. The rate of nonaccidental trauma (NAT) in the pediatric population is increasing; therefore, traumatic aneurysms are an important consideration in the evaluation of pediatric patients with abusive head trauma.

OBSERVATIONS

A 24-day-old infant with no significant past medical or birth history presented with twitching and poor oral intake for 1 day. The patient was found to have bilateral subdural hematomas, multifocal contusions, and traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. NAT work-up was remarkable for a period of repeated and prolonged abuse. Magnetic resonance angiography revealed a right pericallosal traumatic aneurysm that was treated by means of coil and Onyx embolization.

LESSONS

Traumatic intracranial aneurysms are a rare but serious sequela of pediatric abusive trauma. Traumatic intracranial aneurysms should be considered in the setting of intracranial pathology associated with high-energy trauma. Despite new methods for the management of traumatic aneurysms, this pathology remains challenging to identify and treat, and the prognosis remains poor because of the diffuse injury often involved in these patients.