Pneumorrhachis, which involves the entrapment of air or gas within the spinal canal, is a rare clinical entity, and the pathogenesis and etiologies of this uncommon entity are various and can present a diagnostic challenge. Usually, pneumorrhachis represents an asymptomatic epiphenomenon but it can produce symptoms associated with its underlying pathology. Here, we report a rare case of symptomatic epidural pneumorrhachis accompanying pneumothorax. Possible pathogenic mechanisms are discussed and a review of the literature is included.
AIM: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of sodium hyaluronate solution (SH) in endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) of gastric neoplasms.
METHODS: A prospective multicenter randomized, double blind, controlled trial was designed and utilized in this study. A total of 76 patients with 5-20 mm sized gastric neoplasms were enrolled at three academic hospitals in South Korea from June 2011 to October 2011. Patients were randomly assigned to the 0.4% sodium hyaluronate or control groups. All lesions underwent endoscopic ESD. ESD was performed with 0.4%SH and normal saline (NS) solution for submucosal injection. Efficacy was assessed using en bloc resection and the number of additional injections. Secondary evaluation variables were the volume of injection material, steepness of mucosal elevation, bleeding rate, procedural time and operator satisfaction. Finally, the safety was assessed by analyzing adverse events during the study.
RESULTS: The usefulness rate in the 0.4%SH group and the controlled group had statistically significant difference under intention to treat (ITT) analysis (90.91% vs 61.11% P = 0.0041). Under per protocol (PP), the usefulness rate is statistically significant different (93.10% vs 61.76%, P = 0.0036). The difference in volume of the solution injected between 0.4%SH group and the controlled group and NS group was also statistically significant under intention to treat and per protocol analysis (ITT: 0.03 ± 0.02 mL vs 0.06 ± 0.03 mL, P = 0.0003, PP: 0.03 ± 0.02 mL vs 0.06 ± 0.03 mL, P = 0.0004). Satisfaction above the grade good was significantly higher in the SH group under intention to treat and per protocol analysis (ITT: 90.91% vs 61.11%, P = 0.0041, PP = 93.11% vs 61.77%, P = 0.0022). Adverse events above grade 3 were not noticed in either group. All adverse events were treated and were judged as not associated with the submucosal injection solutions.
CONCLUSION: 0.4%SH solution is a safe and effective agent that doesn’t cause any significant adverse events and is useful for submucosal injection during ESD.
Sodium hyaluronate; Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Gastric neoplasm; Endoscopic mucosal resection
Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but potentially life-threatening disorder caused by the release of injured skeletal muscle components into the circulation. The authors report a case of severe head injury, in which a hyperosmolar state and continuous seizure complicated by severe rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure evolved during the course of treatment resulted in a fatal outcome despite intensive supportive treatment. Our bitter experience suggests that rhabdomyolysis should be born in mind in patients with severe head injury who may develop hyperosmolar state and continuous seizure.
Rhabdomyolysis; Head injury
Pneumocephalus is a condition characterized by the presence of air in the cranium, and it is mainly caused by trauma or a neurosurgical procedure. In the absence of head trauma or a neurosurgical procedure, meningitis is an extremely rare cause of pneumocephalus. Here, the authors present a rare case of spontaneous pneumocephalus caused by pneumococcal meningitis, in which simple lateral radiography and computed tomography (CT) findings of the skull suggested the diagnosis. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis showed bacterial meningitis which later revealed streptococcus pneumonia. The patient was treated with antibiotics and responded remarkably well. Repeat CT performed after 2 weeks of treatment showed complete resolution of the intracranial gas. Here, the authors report an unusual case of a pneumocephalus caused by meningitis in the absence of head trauma or a neurosurgical procedure.
Burr hole drainage has been widely used to treat chronic subdural hematomas (SDH), and most of them are easily treated by simple trephination and drainage. However, various complications, such as, hematoma recurrence, infection, seizure, cerebral edema, tension pneumocephalus and failure of the brain to expand due to cerebro-cranial disproportion may develop after chronic SDH drainage. Among them, intracerebral hemorrhage after evacuation of a recurrent chronic SDH is very rare. Here, we report a fatal case of delayed intracerebral hemorrhage caused by coagulopathy following evacuation of a chronic SDH. Possible pathogenic mechanisms of this unfavorable complication are discussed and a review of pertinent literature is included.
Chronic subdural hematoma; Complication; Intracerebral hemorrhage
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma rarely originates from bone, and even more infrequently from a vertebral body. Lymphoblastic lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and results from an abnormality in adaptive immune cells. A 27-year-old man presented with a two-month history of night sweats, weight loss, and severe back pain. Radiological studies demonstrated an osteolytic lesion compressing the subarachnoid space at the T11 level. Posterolateral fusion with decompression was performed and a pathologic examination confirmed lymphoblastic lymphoma of the B-cell precursor type. To our knowledge, this is the first report of solitary lymphoblastic lymphoma from B-cell precursors in of the thoracic spine. Herein, we discuss the presenting symptoms and the management of this rare case of lymphoblastic lymphoma.
Lymphoblastic lymphoma; Spine
Isolated tuberculosis of the coccyx is extremely rare. A 35-year-old man presented with a 3-month history of coccygeal and gluteal pain. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed osseous destruction and a large enhancing mass involving the coccyx with anterior and posterior extension. Pathologic examination of the surgical specimen revealed necrosis, chronic granulomatous inflammation, and multinucleated giant cells consistent with tuberculosis. This case highlights the importance of considering tuberculosis as a diagnosis even though unusual sites are involved.
Osseous bridging between lumbar transverse processes is an uncommon condition that may cause low back pain. In most cases, its etiology is alleged to be trauma to the back and only rarely has a congenital origin been indicated. Furthermore, most reported cases involved adults, the majority of whom were middle-aged. Here, the authors describe the case of the youngest girl reported to date with congenital transverse process bridging. As far as the authors' knowledge, there has been no report of congenital bridging of transverse processes in children or adolescents in Korea.
Low back pain; Transverse process; Osseous bridging
There has been no report of bilateral pedicle stress fractures involving two vertebrae. The authors describe a unique case of spondylolisthesis accompanying a bilateral pedicle stress fracture involving two vertebrae. De novo development of spondylolisthesis at the L5-S1 vertebrae accompanying a bilateral pedicle stress fracture at L4 and L5 was observed in a 70-year-old woman. The patient's medical history was unremarkable and she did not have any predisposing factors except severe osteoporosis. Interbody fusion with bone cement augmented screw fixation was performed. Surgical treatment resulted in good pain management and improved functional recovery.
Spondylolisthesis; Bilateral pedicle fracture; Osteoporosis
Oblique basal skull fractures resulting from lateral crushing injuries involving both clivus and occipital condyle are rare due to their deep locations. Furthermore, these fractures may present clinically with multiple cranial nerve injuries because neural exit routes are restricted in this intricate region. The authors present an interesting case of basal skull fractures involving the clivus and occipital condyle and presenting with sixth and contralateral twelfth cranial nerve deficits. Clinico-anatomic correlations and the courses of cranial nerve deficits are reiterated. To the authors' knowledge, no other report has been previously issued on concomitant sixth and contralateral twelfth cranial nerve palsies following closed head injury.
Basal skull fracture; Cranial nerve palsy
Although decompressive craniectomy is an effective treatment for various situations of increased intracranial pressure, it may be accompanied by several complications. Paradoxical herniation is known as a rare complication of lumbar puncture in patients with decompressive craniectomy. A 38-year-old man underwent decompressive craniectomy for severe brain swelling. He remained neurologically stable for five weeks, but then showed mental deterioration right after a lumbar puncture which was performed to rule out meningitis. A brain computed tomographic scan revealed a marked midline shift. The patient responded to the Trendelenburg position and intravenous fluids, and he achieved full neurologic recovery after successive cranioplasty. The authors discuss the possible mechanism of this rare case with a review of the literature.
Paradoxical herniation; Decompressive craniectomy; Lumbar puncture; Cranioplasty
Injury to the vertebral artery during anterior cervical discectomy is rare but potentially fatal. We report a case of cerebellar infarction after endovascular embolization for iatrogenic vertebral artery injury at C5-C6 during an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. A 61-year-old man had an intraoperative injury of the right vertebral artery that occurred during anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at C5-C6. Hemorrhage was not controlled successfully by packing with surgical hemostatic agents. While the patient was still intubated, an emergency angiogram was performed. The patient underwent endovascular occlusion of the right V2 segment with coils. After the procedure, his course was uneventful and he did not show any neurologic deficits. Brain computed tomographic scans taken 3 days after the operation revealed a right cerebellar infarction. Anti-coagulation medication was administered, and at 3-month follow-up examination, he had no neurologic sequelae in spite of the cerebellar infarction.
Cervical discectomy; Vertebral artery injury; Endovascular occlusion; Cerebellar infarction
Peripheral neuropathy is characterized by hyperalgesia, spontaneous burning pain, and allodynia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of rolipram, a phosphodiesterase-4-specific inhibitor, in a segmental spinal nerve ligation model in rats.
Both the L5 and L6 spinal nerves of the left side of the rats were ligated. Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor (rolipram) and saline (vehicle) were administered intraperitoneally. We measured mechanical allodynia using von Frey filaments and a nerve conduction study.
The mechanical allodynia, which began to manifest on the first day, peaked within 2 days. Multiple intraperitoneal injections of rolipram ameliorated the mechanical allodynia. Furthermore, an intraperitoneal administration of rolipram improved the development of pain behavior and nerve conduction velocity.
This study suggests that the phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, rolipram, alleviates mechanical allodynia induced by segmental spinal nerve ligation in rats. This finding may have clinical implications.
Peripheral nerve injury; Allodynia; Rolipram
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is frequently associated with inflammatory lesions of the spine and continuous fatigue stress fractures; however, an association with an intraspinal synovial cyst has not been previously reported. A 55-year-old man with a five year history of AS who presented with back pain and a right radiculopathy was admitted to the hospital. Five years previously, he underwent a percutaneous vertebroplasty for an osteoporotic L1 compression fracture, and was diagnosed with AS at that time. Plain radiographs showed aggravated kyphosis and a stress fracture through the ossified posterior element, below the prior vertebroplasty. Magnetic resonance images revealed a right foraminal cystic lesion at the L2-L3 level with effacement of the nerve root. A 1.6 cm cystic lesion that appeared to arise from the L2-L3 facet joint without direct communication was excised from the L2-L3 foramen. Pathological examination confirmed synovial cyst. The patient's symptoms resolved immediately after surgery except for a mild dysesthesia of the right leg. We report herein a rare case of foraminal synovial cyst associated with AS accompanying posterior element fracture with a review of literature.
Synovial cyst; Ankylosing spondylitis
Spinal intradural cysticercosis is a rare manifestation of neurocysticercosis. We report a unique patient who showed visual symptoms and normal imaging of the brain caused by isolated spinal neurocysticercosis. A 59-year-old male patient was admitted to the emergency unit with a history of severe headache and progressive blurred vision. Brain computed tomographic scanning and magnetic resonance imaging showed normal cerebral anatomy without hydrocephalus. The fundoscopic evaluation by an ophthalmologist showed bilateral papilledema. Perimetry studies revealed visual field defects in both eyes. With the diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri, a lumbar tap was attempted; however, we could not drain the cerebrospinal fluid in spite of appropriate attempts. Lumbar magnetic resonance imaging revealed multilevel intraspinal lesions that were confirmed histologically to be neurocysticercosis. An intraoperative lumbar puncture revealed an increased opening pressure and cytochemical analysis showed elevated cerebrospinal fluid protein level. The headache resolved immediately after surgery. However, the visual symptoms remained and recovered only marginally despite antihelminthic medications after six months of operation.
Spinal neurocysticercosis; Pseudotumor cerebri; Cerebrospinal spinal fluid
Subdural empyema is a rare form of intracranial sepsis associated with high morbidity and mortality. The most frequent cause is extension of paranasal sinusitis through emissary veins or of mastoiditis through the mucosa, bone, and dura mater. Development of subdural empyema after pyogenic meningitis is known to be very unusual in adults. We report a rare case of fatal subdural empyema, an unusual complication of pyogenic meningitis. Our bitter experience suggests that subdural empyema should be borne in mind in patient with pyogenic meningitis who exhibit neurological deterioration.
Subdural empyema; Pyogenic meningitis
The low lumbar spine is deeply located in flexible segments, and has a physiologic lordosis. Therefore, burst fractures of the low lumbar spine are uncommon injuries. The treatment for such injuries may either be conservative or surgical management according to canal compromise and the neurological status. However, there are no general guidelines or consensus for the treatment of low lumbar burst fractures especially in neurologically intact cases with severe canal compromise. We report a patient with a burst fracture of the fourth lumbar vertebra, who was treated surgically but without fusion because of the neurologically intact status in spite of severe canal compromise of more than 85%. It was possible to preserve motion segments by removal of screws at one year later. We also discuss why bone fusion was not necessary with review of the relevant literature.
Burst fracture; Low lumbar spine; Fusion
Ligamentum flavum hematoma (LFH) is a very rare condition of dural compression; most are observed in the mobile cervical and lumbar spine regions. A 67-year-old man who had a long level interbody fusion at L3-S1 four years ago presented with symptoms suggestive of dural compression. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a posterior semicircular mass located at the adjacent L2-L3 level. After decompression of the spinal canal and removal of the mass lesion, pathological examination of the surgical specimen revealed a hematoma within the ligamentum. The patient fully recovered to normal status after surgery. Here, we report our experience with a LFH in the adjacent segment after a long level fusion procedure and discuss the possible associated mechanisms.
Ligamentum flavum; Hematoma; Adjacent segment
Lumbar disc herniation is extremely uncommon in children below 10 years of age. A 7-year-old boy is reported who presented with low back pain and left leg radiating pain. The pain started seven days prior to presentation and was attributed to performing the jumping kick without any previous warm-up. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a posterolateral disc herniation at the L3-4 level and multiple degenerative changes. The patient received conservative treatment including limitation of sports activities, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant medications as well as physical therapy. After three months of the aggressive treatment the child was symptom free. We present here a lumbar disc herniation in one of the youngest patient.
Lumbar disc herniation; Child; Tae Kwon Do
Bilateral pedicle stress fracture is a rare entity and few cases have been reported in the literature. Furthermore, the majority of these reports concern previous spine surgery or stress-related activities. Here, the authors report ankylosing spondylitis as a new cause of bilateral pedicle stress fractures accompanying spondylolysis. The reported case adds to the literature on bilateral pedicle stress fracture and spondylolysis by documenting that ankylosing spondylitis is another cause of this condition.
Spine fracture; Spondylolysis; Ankylosing spondylitis
Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a disorder of the phagocytic system, is a rare condition. Moreover, spinal involvement causing myelopathy is even rare and unusual. Here, we report a case of atypical LCH causing myelopathy, which was subsequently treated by corpectemy and fusion. A 5-year-old boy presented with 3 weeks of severe neck pain and limited neck movement accompanying right arm motor weakness. CT scans revealed destruction of C7 body and magnetic resonance imaging showed a tumoral process at C7 with cord compression. Interbody fusion using cervical mesh packed by autologus iliac bone was performed. Pathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of LCH. After the surgery, the boy recovered from radiating pain and motor weakness of right arm. Despite the rarity of the LCH in the cervical spine, it is necessary to maintain our awareness of this condition. When neurologic deficits are present, operative treatment should be considered.
Langerhans cell histiocytosis; Cervical spine; Cord compression
We report an extremely rare case of traumatic cervical spinal subdural hematoma not related to intracranial injury. There has been no report on traumatic cervical spinal subdrual hematoma not related to intracranial injury. A 27-year-old female patient was admitted to our emergency room due to severe neck pain and right arm motor weakness after car collision. On admission, she presented with complete monoplegia and hypoesthesia of right arm. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed subdural hematoma compressing spinal cord. Lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis revealed 210,000 red blood cells/mm3. She was managed conservatively by administrations of steroid pulse therapy and CSF drainage. Her muscle power of right arm improved to a Grade III 16 days after admission. Follow-up MRI taken 16th days after admission revealed almost complete resolution of the hematoma. Here, the authors report a traumatic cervical spinal SDH not associated with intracranial injury.
Spinal subdural hematoma; Cervical spine; Monoplegia
Hypereosinophilic syndrome is a rare hematologic disorder with sustained eosinophilia. Peripheral blood eosinophilia without an underlying etiology and with organs dysfunction has been designated hypereosinophilic syndrome. We report a rare case of symptomatic spinal infiltration of eosinophils at osteolytic T5 in patient with idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome.
Hypereosinophilic syndrome; Idiopathic; Spinal infiltration
We report a rare case of intracranial hypotension that was complicated by a subdural hematoma following spine surgery. Intraoperatively, we did not notice any breach of the dura. However, the patient continued to have fluid leakage from the inferior edge of the lumbar incision. During revision surgery, a small dural tear was identified and repaired. It is likely that a small dural tear was overlooked or the dura was weakened during the initial operation and caused a subdural hematoma associated with intracranial hypotension.
Subdural hematoma; Intracranial hypotension; Spine surgery; Cerebrospinal fluid
Although most of sacral perineural cysts are asymptomatic, some may produce symptoms. Specific radicular pain may be due to distortion, compression, or stretching of nerve root by a space occupying cyst. We report a rare case of S1 radiculopathy caused by sacral perineural cyst accompanying disc herniation. The patient underwent a microscopic discectomy at L5-S1 level. However, the patient's symptoms did not improved. The hypesthesia persisted, as did the right leg pain. Cyst-subarachnoid shunt was set to decompress nerve root and to equalize the cerebrospinal fluid pressure between the cephalad thecal sac and cyst. Immediately after surgery, the patient had no leg pain. After 6 months, the patient still remained free of leg pain.
Sacral perineural cyst; Disc herniation