Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is often defined as a complex of symptoms and signs consisting of low back pain, bilateral sciatica, lower extremity weakness, saddle anesthesia, and bowel and bladder dysfunction. CES is considered to be neurosurgical emergency. Delayed or missed diagnosis of CES can result in serious morbidity and neurological sequelae. However, the diagnosis of CES is often difficult when one or more of these symptoms are absent or when these symptoms develop asymmetrically or incompletely. We report a case of urinary retention and sphincter dysfunction without sciatica or motor weakness following an L3 burst fracture in a 52-year-old male and discuss the atypical presentation of CES and treatment of traumatic CES.
Cauda equina syndrome; Burst fracture; Spine; Lumbar vertebrae
Leg swelling in patients with paraplegia due to spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs for various reasons, including heterotopic ossification (HO), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), fracture, or cellulitis. The clinical presentations of these conditions may overlap in part or in whole and it may occasionally be difficult to distinguish. Of these conditions, DVT and subsequent pulmonary embolism remain significant causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with SCI. Therefore, a prompt diagnostic work-up, particularly for DVT, is essential in patients with SCI, who present with leg swelling. Here, we report a case of leg swelling in a paraplegic patient, resulting from HO mimicking DVT and discuss the differential diagnosis.
Ossification, heterotopic; Venous thrombosis; Spinal cord injuries; Paraplegia
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant coagulase negative staphylococci (MRCNS) are major causes of neurosurgical infection. Nasal colonization of MRSA is the most important risk factor and MRSA screening can be a screening method to identify MRSA and MRCNS colonization. We retrospectively evaluated prophylactic effect of vancomycin on MRSA or MRCNS surgical site infection (SSI) after cranioplasty following decompressive craniectomy (DC) after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in MRSA carriers.
The study included 21 patients who were positive in MRSA screening before cranioplasty. These patients underwent DC after TBI and subsequent cranioplasty with autologous bone. The patients were separated into SSI group and no SSI group according to the development of SSI due to MRSA or MRCNS after cranioplasty. Mean follow-up period after cranioplasty was 23.5±22.8 months (range, 3 to 73 months). The rate of MRSA or MRCNS SSI and factors including the prophylactic preoperative antibiotics were compared between groups.
The rate of MRSA or MRCNS SSI was 23.8% (5/21 patients). Mean time from cranioplasty to confirm the SSI was 19.6±10.9 days (6 to 63 days). The rate of MRSA or MRCNS SSI was significantly different from the use of preoperative prophylactic antibiotics (p=0.047). MRSA or MRCNS SSI developed in 1 of 13 patients (7.6%) who received vancomycin and in 4 of 8 patients (50%) who received 3rd generation cephalosporin.
Preoperative MRSA screening and administration of vancomycin as a preoperative prophylactic antibiotic should be considered in MRSA carriers who are scheduled to cranioplasty to reduce MRSA or MRCNS SSI.
Vancomycin; Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Coagulase; Staphylococcal infections; Staphylococcus; Surgical wound infection
Gas-containing (emphysematous) infections of the abdomen, pelvis, and extremities are well-known disease entities, which can potentially be life-threatening. They require aggressive medical and often surgical treatment. In the neurosurgical field, some cases of gas-containing brain abscess and subdural empyema have been reported. Sometimes they progress rapidly and even can cause fatal outcome. However, gas-containing spinal epidural abscess has been rarely reported and clinical course is unknown. We report on a case of rapidly progressive gas-containing lumbar spinal epidural abscess due to Enterococcus faecalis in a 72-year-old male patient with diabetes mellitus.
Epidural abscess; Spine; Enterococcus faecalis
Idiopathic hypertrophic pachymeningitis (IHP) is a rare disease, and it is characterized by chronic progressive inflammatory fibrosis and thickening of the dura mater with resultant compression of the spinal cord or neural structure without any identifiable cause. It can occur in the intracranial or spinal dura mater alone or as a craniospinal form. The spinal form is rarer than the cranial form and the craniospinal form is extremely rare. We report a rare case of IHP in the craniocervical junction involving both the cranial and spinal dura mater and discuss the diagnosis and management of the disease.
Idiopathic hypertrophic pachymeningitis; Craniocervical junction; Diagnosis; Treatment
Myositis ossificans (MO) is a benign condition of non-neoplastic heterotopic bone formation in the muscle or soft tissue. Trauma plays a role in the development of MO, thus, non-traumatic MO is very rare. Although MO may occur anywhere in the body, it is rarely seen in the lumbosacral paravertebral muscle (PVM). Herein, we report a case of non-traumatic MO in the lumbosacral PVM. A 42-year-old man with no history of trauma was referred to our hospital for pain in the low back, left buttock, and left thigh. On physical examination, a slightly tender, hard, and fixed mass was palpated in the left lumbosacral PVM. Computed tomography showed a calcified mass within the left lumbosacral PVM. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed heterogeneous high signal intensity in T1- and T2-weighted image, and no enhancement of the mass was found in the postcontrast T1-weighted MRI. The lack of typical imaging features required an open biopsy, and MO was confirmed. MO should be considered in the differential diagnosis when the imaging findings show a mass involving PVM. When it is difficult to distinguish MO from soft tissue or bone malignancy by radiology, it is necessary to perform a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
Myositis ossificans; Lumbosacral spine; Paravertebral muscle
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. In typical cases, the first symptoms of GBS are pain, numbness, paresthesia, weakness in the limbs. Autonomic involvement is common and causes urinary retention and ileus. Much of these symptoms overlap with those of lumbar spinal stenosis. Therefore, correct diagnosis of GBS in a patient with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis or in a patient with atypical manifestations of GBS can be difficult, especially early in the course of GBS. Here, we report on a case of atypical GBS in a 74-year-old previously healthy patient with lumbar spinal stenosis and discuss the differential diagnosis of the GBS and lumbar spinal stenosis.
Guillain-Barre syndrome; Spinal stenosis; Polyradiculopathy
Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) deposition disease, also known as pseudogout, is a disease that causes inflammatory arthropathy in peripheral joints, however, symptomatic involvement of the intervertebral disc is uncommon. Herein, we describe a 59-yr-old patient who presented with cauda equina syndrome. Magnetic resonance imaging of the patient showed an epidural mass-like lesion at the disc space of L4-L5, which was compressing the thecal sac. Biopsy of the intervertebral disc and epidural mass-like lesion was determined to be CPPD deposits. We reviewed previously reported cases of pseudogout involving the lumbar intervertebral disc and discuss the pathogenesis and treatment of the disease.
Calcium Pyrophosphate Dehydrate (CPPD); Pseudogout; Lumbar Spine; Intervertebral Disc
Spontaneous hematomas of the iliacus muscle are rare lesions and these are seen in individuals receiving anticoagulation therapy or patients with blood dyscrasias such as hemophilia. It can cause femoral neuropathy and resultant pain and paralysis. Although there is no clear consensus for the treatment of femoral neuropathy from iliacus muscle hematomas, delays in the surgical evacuation of hematoma for decompression of the femoral nerve can lead to a prolonged or permanent disability. We report here on a rare case of a spontaneous iliacus muscle hematoma that caused femoral neuropathy in a patient who was taking warfarin for occlusive vascular disease and we discuss the treatment.
Femoral neuropathy; Iliacus muscle hamatoma; Anticoagulation therapy
Most of Tarlov or perineurial cysts remain asymptomatic throughout the patient's life. The pathogenesis is still unclear. Hemorrhage has been suggested as one of the possible causes and trauma with resultant hemorrhage into subarachnoid space has been suggested as an origin of these cysts. However, Tarlov cysts related to spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage has not been reported. The authors report a case of Tarlov cyst which was symptomatic following spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Tarlov cyst; Spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage; Aneurysm rupture
We report a case of an acute spontaneous epidural hematoma (EDH) due to skull base metastasis in a 46-year-old male patient with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The patient presented with the acute onset of severe headache followed by unconsciousness, and computed tomography showed a large EDH in the right temporal and parietal lobes with midline shift. Emergency evacuation of the EDH was performed, and the hemorrhage was determined to be secondary to skull base metastasis of HCC.
Epidural hematoma; Skull base metastasis; Hepatocellular carcinoma
Lateral femoral cutaneous neuropathy occurring during spinal surgery is frequently related to iliac bone graft harvesting, but meralgia paresthetica (MP) can result from the patient being in the prone position. Prone position-related MP is not an uncommon complication after posterior spine surgery but there are only few reports in the literature on this subject. It is usually overlooked because of its mild symptoms and self-limiting course, or patients and physicians may misunderstand the persistence of lower extremity symptoms in the early postoperative period to be a reflection of poor surgical outcome. The authors report a case of prone position-related MP after posterior lumbar interbody fusion at the L3-4 and reviewed the literature with discussion on the incidence, pathogenesis, and possible risk factors related to this entity.
Meralgia paresthetica (MP); Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN); Prone position; Posterior spinal surgery
Myoclonus is a rare side effect of gabapentin (GBP) and has been reported in patients with preexisting myoclonus, mental retardation, chronic static encephalopathy, diffuse brain damage, impaired renal function, or end stage renal disease. We report a case of myoclonus in a patient with normal renal function and no previous disorders. A 69-year-old female underwent diskectomy and foraminotomy at the left L4-L5 level. Postoperatively, she complained of paresthesia in her left leg, which was thought to be due to root manipulation during surgery. To relieve the paresthesia, she was given tramadol, an oral opioid agonist, and GBP. One week after GBP was increased to 900 mg per day, myoclonus developed, which severely impaired her normal activity. Her symptoms resolved 2 days after discontinuation of GBP. The coadministration of tramadol and GBP may mutually enhance the myoclonic potential of each drug. The causal relationship between GBP and myoclonus was suggested by cessation of myoclonus after GBP discontinuation despite continued therapy with tramadol.
Myoclonus; Gabapentin (GBP); Opioids
Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA) has been considered as a low grade tumor of adolescents and young adults. Although this tumor often shows cystic component, the hemorrhage within the cyst is extremely rare. The authors report a rare case of cystic PXA with a hemorrhage within the cyst and the mural nodule in the left frontal lobe. A 64-year-old male presented with a week history of the right side hemiparesis. After gross total resection of the tumor, the patient was fully recovered from neurological deficit. It is suggested that this typically benign tumor could be presented with hemorrhage, causing a rapid neurological deterioration. Prompt surgical intervention, especially total removal of the tumor can provide an excellent functional recovery.
Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA); Cyst; Hemorrhage; Mural nodule
Craniovertebral junction (CVJ) tuberculosis is a rare disease, potentially causing severe instability and neurological deficits. The authors present a case of CVJ tuberculosis with atlantoaxial dislocation and retropharyngeal abscess in a 28-year-old man with neck pain and quadriparesis. Radiological evaluations showed a widespread extradural lesion around the clivus, C1, and C2. Two stage operations with transoral decompression and posterior occipitocervical fusion were performed. The pathological findings confirmed the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Treatment options in CVJ tuberculosis are controversial without well-defined guidelines. But radical operation (anterior decompression and posterior fusion and fixation) is necessary in patient with neurological deficit due to cord compression, extensive bone destruction, and instability or dislocation. The diagnosis and treatment options are discussed.
Tuberculosis; Craniovertebral junction; Atlantoaxial dislocation; Retropharyngeal abscess
There are few comparative studies about the optimal method of pneumatic compression to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The aim of this prospective randomized study was to compare venous hemodynamic changes and their clinical influences between two graded sequential compression groups (an alternate sequential compression device [ASCD] vs. a simultaneous sequential compression device [SSCD]).
In total, 34 patients (68 limbs) undergoing knee and spine operations were prospectively randomized into two device groups (ASCD vs. SSCD groups). Duplex ultrasonography examinations were performed on the 4th and 7th postoperative days for the detection of DVT and the evaluation of venous hemodynamics. Continuous data for the two groups were analyzed using a two-tailed, unpaired t-test. Relative frequencies of unpaired samples were compared using Fisher exact test. Mixed effects models that might be viewed as ANCOVA models were also considered.
DVT developed in 7 patients (20.6%), all of whom were asymptomatic for isolated calf DVTs. Two of these patients were from the ASCD group (11.8%) and the other five were from the SSCD group (29.4%), but there was no significant difference (p = 0.331). Baseline peak velocity, mean velocity, peak volume flow, and total volume flow were enhanced significantly in both device groups (p < 0.001). However, the degrees of flow and velocity enhancement did not differ significantly between the groups. The accumulated expelled volumes for an hour were in favor of the ASCD group.
Both graded sequential compression devices showed similar results both in clinical and physiological efficacies. Further studies are required to investigate the optimal intermittent pneumatic compression method for enhanced hemodynamic efficacy and better thromboprophylaxis.
Venous thrombosis; Venous thromboembolism; Intermittent pneumatic compression device; Hemodynamics
Spinal arachnoid cyst is a rare cause of myelopathy secondary to spinal cord compression. We report a case presenting extradural arachnoid cyst of probable traumatic origin leading to irreversible neurological deficits including paraparesis and neurogenic bladder. The patient presented progressive paraparesis and voiding difficulty. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the spine revealed long segmental cystic lesion of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) signal intensity at dorsal extramedullary space of T11 to L3 level suggesting arachnoid cyst with diffuse cord compression. On the operation, an ovoid shaped dural defect was identified at right sided dorsolateral aspect of the dura mater between nerve root sleeves at T11 and T12 level. The patient was treated by microsurgical repair of the dural defect and intraoperative findings revealed no further leakage of CSF. The neurological status of the patient was stationary on follow-up examination postoperatively. We postulate that delayed-onset post-traumatic extradural arachnoid cyst should be taken into consideration on the differential diagnosis of intrapinal cysts.
Spinal arachnoid cyst; Extradural arachnoid cyst; Paraparesis
In patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), the risk factors for seizure and the effect of prophylactic anticonvulsants are not well known. This study aimed to determine the risk factor for seizures and the role for prophylactic anticonvulsants after spontaneous ICH.
Between 2005 and 2010, 263 consecutive patients with spontaneous ICH were retrospectively assessed with a mean follow-up of 19.5 months using medical records, updated clinical information and, when necessary, direct patient contact. The seizures were classified as early (within 1 week of ICH) or late (more than 1 week after ICH). The outcomes were measured with the Glasgow Outcome Scale at discharge and the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at both 2 weeks and discharge.
Twenty-two patients (8.4%; 9 patients with early seizures and 13 patients with late seizures) developed seizures after spontaneous ICH. Out of 263 patients, prophylactic anticonvulsants were administered in 216 patients. The prophylactic anticonvulsants were not associated with a reduced risk of early (p=0.094) or late seizures (p=0.326). Instead, the factors associated with early seizure were cortical involvement (p<0.001) and younger age (60 years or less) (p=0.046). The risk of late seizure was increased by cortical involvement (p<0.001) and communicating hydrocephalus (p=0.004). The prophylactic anticonvulsants were associated with a worse mRS at 2 weeks (p=0.024) and at last follow-up (p=0.034).
Cortical involvement may be a factor for provoked seizures. Although the incidence of early seizures tended to decrease in patients prescribed prophylactic anticonvulsants, no statistical difference was found.
Risk factors; Seizure; Intracerebral hemorrhage, spontaneous; Anticonvulsants
Gas forming brain abscess is a rare disease caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae occurring in patients with impaired host defense mechanism such as diabetes mellitus or liver cirrhosis. A 59-year-old man with 2-year history of diabetes mellitus and 20-year history of liver cirrhosis presented to the hospital with headache. On the day after admission, severe headache was developed and he deteriorated rapidly. Brain CT showed a non-enhanced mass including multiple air density as well as surrounding edema seen in the right occipital lobe, and isodensity air-fluid level seen in the right lateral ventricle. Despite emergent ventricular drainage and intraventricular and intravenous administration of antibiotics, his condition progressively worsened to sepsis and to death after 5 days. Bacterial culture of blood and ventricular fluids disclosed a Gram (-) rod, Klebsiella pneumoniae. In this report we review the pathogenic mechanism and its management.
Brain abscess; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Air
The authors developed a stereotactic device for irradiation of small animals with Leksell Gamma Knife® Model C. Development and verification procedures were described in this article.
The device was designed to satisfy three requirements. The mechanical accuracy in positioning was to be managed within 0.5 mm. The strength of the device and structure were to be compromised to provide enough strength to hold a small animal during irradiation and to interfere the gamma ray beam as little as possible. The device was to be used in combination with the Leksell G-frame® and KOPF® rat adaptor. The irradiation point was determined by separate imaging sequences such as plain X-ray images.
The absolute dose rate with the device in a Leksell Gamma Knife was 3.7% less than the value calculated from Leksell Gamma Plan®. The dose distributions measured with GAFCHROMIC® MD-55 film corresponded to those of Leksell Gamma Plan® within acceptable range. The device was used in a series of rat experiments with a 4 mm helmet of Leksell Gamma Knife.
A stereotactic device for irradiation of small animals with Leksell Gamma Knife Model C has been developed so that it fulfilled above requirements. Absorbed dose and dose distribution at the center of a Gamma Knife helmet are in acceptable ranges. The device provides enough accuracy for stereotactic irradiation with acceptable practicality.
Stereotactic device; Gamma Knife Model C; Absolute dose; Dose distribution