Usually fungal infections caused by opportunistic and pathogenic fungi had been an important cause of morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients. However clinical data and investigations for immunocompetent pathogenic fungal infections had been rare and neglected into clinical studies. Especially Cryptococcal brainstem abscess cases mimicking brain tumors were also much more rare. So we report this unusual case. This 47-year-old man presented with a history of progressively worsening headache and nausea for 1 month and several days of vomituritions before admission. Neurological and laboratory examinations performed demonstrated no abnormal findings. Previously he was healthy and did not have any significant medical illnesses. A CT and MRI scan revealed enhancing 1.8×1.7×2.0 cm mass lesion in the left pons having central necrosis and peripheral edema compressing the fourth ventricle. And also positron emission tomogram scan demonstrated a hot uptake of fluoro-deoxy-glucose on the brainstem lesion without any evidences of systemic metastasis. Gross total mass resection was achieved with lateral suboccipital approach with neuronavigation system. Postoperatively he recovered without any neurological deficits. Pathologic report confirmed Cryptococcus neoformans and he was successively treated with antifungal medications. This is a previously unreported rare case of brainstem Cryptococcal abscess mimicking brain tumors in immunocompetent host without having any apparent typical meningeal symptoms and signs with resultant good neurosurgical recovery.
Brainstem abscess mimicking brain tumors; Cryptococcus; Immunocompetent
A 66-year-old woman presented with intermittent paraparesis and generalized tonic-clonic seizure. Cerebral angiography demonstrated dural arteriovenous fistula (AVF) involving superior sagittal sinus (SSS), which was associated with SSS occlusion on the posterior one third. The dural AVF was fed by bilateral middle meningeal arteries (MMAs), superficial temporal arteries (STAs) and occipital arteries with marked retrograde cortical venous reflux. Transfemoral arterial Onyx embolization was performed through right MMA and STA, but it was not successful, which resulted in partial obliteration of dural AVF because of tortuous MMA preventing the microcatheter from reaching the fistula closely enough. Second procedure was performed through left MMA accessed by direct MMA puncture following small decortications of cranium overlying the MMA using diamond drill one week later. Microcatheter could be located far distally to the fistula through 5 F sheath placed into the MMA and complete obliteration of dural AVF was achieved using 3.9 cc of Onyx.
Dural arteriovenous fistula; Superior sagittal sinus; Transcranial; Middle meningeal artery; Onyx embolization
A 15-year-old female patient with progressive pulsatile exophthalmos caused by intraorbital encephalocele was evaluated with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in our clinic. She had no history of trauma or reconstructive surgery. When she was a little girl, she had undergone surgery for congenital glaucoma on the right eye. On the three-dimensional image of CT, a hypoplasic bone defect was observed in the greater wing of the right sphenoid bone. MRI and CT scan showed herniation through this defect of the arachnoid membrane and protruded cerebral tissue into the right orbita. Intraorbital encephalocele is an important entity that can cause pulsatile exophthalmos and blindness.
Intraorbital encephalocele; 3-dimensional CT; MRI
A number of dynamic stabilization systems have been used to overcome the problems associated with spinal fusion with rigid fixation recently and the demand for an ideal dynamic stabilization system is greater for younger patients with multisegment disc degeneration. Nitinol, a shape memory alloy of nickel and titanium, is flexible at low temperatures and regains its original shape when heated, and the Nitinol shape memory loop (SML) implant has been used as a posterior tension band mostly in decompressive laminectomy cases because the Nitinol implant has various characteristics such as high elasticity and a tensile force, flexibility, and biological compatibility. The reported short-term outcomes of the application of SMLs as posterior column supporters in cervical and lumbar decompressive laminectomies seem to be positive, and complications are minimal except for the rare occurrence of pullout and fracture of the SML. However, there was no report of neurological complications related to neural compression in spite of the use of the loop of SML in the epidural space. The authors report a case of delayed development of radiating pain caused by subsidence of the SML resulting epidural compression.
Dynamic stabilization; Laminectomy; Nitinol; Pain; Shape memory loop
Cavernous hemangiomas were first reported in 1929 by Globus and Doshay, and are defined as benign vascular structures developed between the neural tissues occurring in the central nervous system, consisting of a dilated vascular bed. Cavernous hemangiomas comprise nearly 5-12% of all spinal vascular malformations; however, existence in the epidural space without bone involvement is rare. Only 4% of all cavernous hemangiomas (0.22/1.000.000) are purely epidural cavernous hemangiomas. In this case report, we removed a hemorrhagic thoracic mass presenting with progressive neurological deficits in a 55-year-old male patient. We found this case to be appropriate for presentation due to the rare occurrence of this type of cavernous hemangioma.
Cavernous hemangioma; Extraosseous-epidural; Thoracic vertebrae; Hemangioma
We report a case of non communicating hydrocephalus due to membranous obstruction of Magendie's foramen. A 37-year-old woman presented with intracranial hypertension symptoms caused by the occlusion of Magendie's foramen by a membrane probably due to arachnoiditis. As far as the patient's past medical history is concerned, an Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis was described. Fundoscopic examination revealed bilateral papilledema. Brain magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a significant ventricular dilatation of all ventricles and turbulent flow of cerebelospinal fluid (CSF) in the fourth ventricle as well as back flow of CSF through the Monro's foramen to the lateral ventricles. The patient underwent a suboccipital craniotomy with C1 laminectomy. An occlusion of Magendie's foramen by a thickened membrane was recognized and it was incised and removed. We confirm the existence of hydrocephalus caused by fourth ventricle outflow obstruction by a membrane. The nature of this rare entity is difficult to demonstrate because of the complex morphology of the fourth ventricle. Treatment with surgical exploration and incision of the thickened membrane proved to be a reliable method of treatment without the necessity of endoscopic third ventriculostomy or catheter placement.
Hydrocephalus; Magendie's foramen; Arachnoiditis; Obstruction
A ruptured distal lenticulostriate artery (LSA) aneurysm is detected occasionally in moyamoya disease (MMD) patients presented with intracerebral hemorrhage. If the aneurysm is detected in hemorrhage site on angiographic evaluation, its obliteration could be considered, because it rebleeds frequently, and is associated with poorer outcome and mortality in MMD related hemorrhage. In this case report, the authors present two MMD cases with ruptured distal LSA aneurysm treated by endovascular embolization.
Moyamoya disease; Cerebral hemorrhage; Therapeutic embolization
Owing to the focal wall defect covered with thin fibrous tissues, an aneurysm arising from the dorsal wall of the internal carotid artery (ICA) is difficult to manage either surgically or endovascularly and is often associated with high morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, the definitive treatment modality of such highly risky aneurysm has not yet been demonstrated. Upon encountering the complex intracranial pathophysiology of such a highly precarious aneurysm, a neurosurgeon would be faced with a challenge to decide on an optimal approach. This is a case of multiple paraclinoid aneurysms including the ICA dorsal wall aneurysm, presented with spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage. With respect to treatment, direct clipping with a Sundt graft clip was performed after multiple endovascular interventions had failed. This surgical approach can be a treatment modality for a blood blister-like aneurysm after failed endovascular intervention(s).
Blood blister-like aneurysm; Endovascular intervention; ICA dorsal wall aneurysm; Multiple paraclinoid aneurysms and Sundt clip graft
If a ruptured blood blister-like aneurysm (BBA) arises from the lateral or superolateral wall of the internal carotid artery (ICA) at the level of the anterior choroidal artery (AChA), its proximity to the origin of the AChA presents a serious surgical challenge to preserve the patency of the AChA. Two such rare cases are presented, along with successful surgical techniques, including the application of a C-shaped aneurysm clip parallel to the ICA and a microsuture technique to repair the arterial defect. The patency of the AChA and ICA was successfully preserved without recurrence or rebleeding of the BBA during a 1-year follow-up after the operation.
Anterior choroidal artery; Blood blister-like aneurysm; Surgical technique
A 59-year-old male patient had 5-month history of gait disturbance and memory impairment. His initial brain computed tomography scan showed 3.5×2.8 cm sized mass with high density in the pineal region. The tumor was hypointense on T2 weighted magnetic resonance images and hyperintense on T1 weighted magnetic resonance images with heterogenous enhancement of central portion. The tumor was totally removed via the occipital transtentorial approach. Black mass was observed in the operation field, and after surgery, histopathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of malignant melanoma. Whole spine magnetic resonance images and whole body 18-fluoro-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography could not demonstrate the primary site of this melanoma. Scrupulous physical examination of his skin and mucosa was done and dark pigmented lesion on his left leg was found, but additional studies including magnetic resonance images and skin biopsy showed negative finding. As a result, final diagnosis of primary pineal malignant melanoma was made. He underwent treatment with the whole brain radiotherapy and extended local boost irradiation without chemotherapy. His preoperative symptoms were disappeared, and no other specific neurological deficits were founded. His follow-up image studies showed no recurrence or distant metastasis until 26 weeks after surgery. Primary pineal malignant melanomas are extremely rare intracranial tumors, and only 17 cases have been reported since 1899. The most recent case report showed favorable outcome by subtotal tumor resection followed by whole brain and extended local irradiation without chemotherapy. Our case is another result to prove that total tumor resection with radiotherapy can be the current optimal treatment for primary malignant melanoma in the pineal region.
Primary melanoma; Pineal melanoma; Malignant melanoma
Primary intraosseous meningioma is a rare tumor, and atypical pathologic components both osteolytic lesion and dura and soft tissue invasion is extremely rare. A 65-year-old woman presented with a 5-month history of a soft mass on the right frontal area. MR imaging revealed a 4 cm sized, multilobulated, strongly-enhancing lesion on the right frontal bone, and CT showed a destructive skull lesion. The mass was adhered tightly to the scalp and dura mater, and it extended to some part of the outer and inner dural layers without brain invasion. The extradural mass and soft tissue mass were totally removed simultaneously and we reconstructed the calvarial defect with artificial bone material. The pathological study revealed an atypical meningioma as World Health Organization grade II. Six months after the operation, brain MR imaging showed that not found recurrence in both cranial and spinal lesion. Here, we report a case of primary osteolytic intraosseous atypical meningioma with soft tissue and dural invasion.
Atypical; Intraosseous; Meningioma; Osteolysis
We report a case of cervicomedullary compression by an anomalous vertebral artery treated using microsurgical decompression with intraoperative monitoring. A 68-year-old woman presented with posterior neck pain and gait disturbance. MRI revealed multiple abnormalities, including an anomalous vertebral artery that compressed the spinal cord at the cervicomedullary junction. Suboccipital craniectomy with C1 laminectomy was performed. The spinal cord was found to be compressed by the vertebral arteries, which were retracted dorsolaterally. At that time, the somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) changed. After release of the vertebral artery, the SSEP signal normalized instantly. The vertebral artery was then lifted gently and anchored to the dura. There was no other procedural complication. The patient's symptoms improved. This case demonstrates that intraoperative monitoring may be useful for preventing procedural complications during spinal cord microsurgical decompression.
Vertebral artery; Microvascular decompression; Cervicomedullary junction; Intraoperative monitoring
Cauda equina syndrome (CES) associated with dural ectasia is a rare neurologic complication in patients with longstanding ankylosing spondylitis (AS). We report a 68-year-old male with a 30-year history of AS who presented a typical symptom and signs of progressive CES, urinary incontinence and neuropathic pain of the lumbosacral radiculopathy. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings showed the unique appearances of dural ectasia, multiple dural diverticula, erosion of posterior element of the lumbar spine, tethering of the conus medullaris and adhesion of the lumbosacral nerve roots to the posterior aspect of the dural ectasia. Considering the progressive worsening of the clinical signs, detethering of the conus medullaris through resection of the filum terminale was performed through a limited laminectomy. However, the urinary incontinence did not improve and there was a partial relief of the neuropathic leg pain only. The possible pathogenetic mechanism of CES-AS and the dural ectasia in this patient with longstanding AS are discussed with a literature review.
Ankylosing spondylitis; Cauda equina syndrome; Dural ectasia; Filum terminale
The authors report a case of symptomatic epidural gas accumulation 2 weeks after the multi-level lumbar surgery, causing postoperative recurrent radiculopathy. The accumulation of epidural gas compressing the dural sac and nerve root was demonstrated by CT and MRI at the distant two levels, L3-4 and L5-S1, where vacuum in disc space was observed preoperatively and both laminectomy and discectomy had been done. However, postoperative air was not identified at L4-5 level where only laminectomy had been done in same surgical field, which suggested the relationship between postoperative epidural gas and the manipulation of disc structure. Conservative treatment and needle aspiration was performed, but not effective to relieve patient's symptoms. The patient underwent revision surgery to remove the gaseous cyst. Her leg pain was improved after the second operation.
Epidural gas; Vacuum phenomenon; Lumbar spine; Recurrent radiculopathy; Spinal surgery
Spinal subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAH) can extend into the intracranial subarachnoid space, but, severe cerebral vasospasm is rare complication of the extension of intracranial SAH from a spinal subarachnoid hematoma. A 67-year-old woman started anticoagulant therapy for unstable angina. The next day, she developed severe back pain and paraplegia. MRI showed intradural and extramedullar low signal intensity at the T2-3, consistent with intradural hematoma. High signal intensity was also noted in the spinal cord from C5 to T4. We removed subarachnoid hematoma compressing the spinal cord. The following day, the patient complained of severe headache. Brain CT revealed SAH around both parietal lobes. Three days later, her consciousness decreased and left hemiplegia also developed. Brain MRI demonstrated multiple cerebral infarctions, mainly in the right posterior cerebral artery territory, left parietal lobe and right watershed area. Conventional cerebral angiography confirmed diffuse severe vasospasm of the cerebral arteries. After intensive care for a month, the patient was transferred to the rehabilitation department. After 6 months, neurologic deterioration improved partially. We speculate that surgeons should anticipate possible delayed neurological complications due to cerebral vasospasm if intracranial SAH is detected after spinal subarachnoid hematoma.
Spinal subarachnoid hematoma; Intracranial subarachnoid hemorrhage; Vasospasm; Cerebral infarction
We present a case of angiographically confirmed transection of the cisternal segment of the anterior choroidal artery (AChA) associated with a severe head trauma in a 15-year old boy. The initial brain computed tomography scan revealed a diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and pneumocephalus with multiple skull fractures. Subsequent cerebral angiography clearly demonstrated a complete transection of the AChA at its origin with a massive extravasation of contrast medium as a jet trajectory creating a plume. We speculate that severe blunt traumatic force stretched and tore the left AChA between the internal carotid artery and the optic tract. In a simulation of the patient's brain using a fresh-frozen male cadaver, the AChA is shown to be vulnerable to stretching injury as the ipsilateral optic tract is retracted. We conclude that the arterial injury like an AChA rupture should be considered in the differential diagnosis of severe traumatic SAH.
Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage; Anterior choroidal artery; Transection; Angiography; Cadaver
Due to improvements in emergency resuscitation provided by rescue teams, more trauma victims who could have died due to sudden heart failure at the scene are brought to the hospital following resuscitation. Most of these patients present with major organ injuries and hypovolemic shock at the time of trauma. However, head trauma associated with sudden heart arrest is rare. Here, we report a case of ring fracture with pontomedullary laceration that led to sudden heart arrest.
Trauma; Resuscitation; Heart arrest; Fracture
Penetrating cerebral injuries caused by foreign bodies occur rarely due to the substantial mechanical protection offered by the skull. Throughout most of history, the brain, residing in a "closed box" of bone, has not been vulnerable to external aggression. Recently, we encountered a serious penetrating craniocerebral injury caused by a nail gun. Total excision of the offending nail via emergency craniotomy was performed, but the patient's neurologic status was not improved in spite of aggressive rehabilitative treatment. Here, we report on this troublesome case in light of a review of the relevant literature.
Head; Injury; Penetrating
Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is characterized by sudden-onset headache with focal neurologic deficit and prolonged but reversible multifocal narrowing of the distal cerebral arteries. Stroke, either hemorrhagic or ischemic, is a relatively frequent presentation in RCVS, but progressive manifestations of subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction in a patient is seldom described. We report a rare case of a 56-year-old woman with reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome consecutively presenting as cortical subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, and cerebral infarction. When she complained of severe headache with subtle cortical subarachnoid hemorrhage, her angiography was non-specific. But, computed tomographic angiography showed typical angiographic features of this syndrome after four days. Day 12, she suffered mental deterioration and hemiplegia due to contralateral intracerebral hematoma, and she was surgically treated. For recurrent attacks of headache, medical management with calcium channel blockers has been instituted. Normalized angiographic features were documented after 8 weeks. Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome should be considered as differential diagnosis of non-aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, and repeated angiography is recommended for the diagnosis of this under-recognized syndrome.
Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome; Angiography; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Cerebral infarction
Traumatic pseudoaneurysms of the middle meningeal artery (MMA) are rare phenomenon, which are usually associated with head trauma such as an underlying skull fracture. They were usually known to cause acute or delayed epidural hematomas but can be associated with subdural, subarachnoid, or even intracerebral hemorrhage. Sometimes, a high mortality rate was reported in these circumferences. But the natural course of these pseudoaneurysms is not well recognized. The indication and guideline of treatment for pseudoaneurysm are also unclear. This report describes a rare case of angiographically progressive change of traumatic pseudoaneurysm of the middle meningeal artery for one week, which was treated with endovascular embolization.
Pseudoaneurysm; Middle meningeal artery
Isolated traumatic pseudoaneurysms of the basilar artery are extremely rare but often fatal resulting in a mortality rate as high as 50%. A 51-year-old man presented with craniofacial injury after blunt trauma. A brain computed tomography (CT) scan showed thick basal subarachnoid hemorrhage associated with multiple craniofacial fractures, while CT angiography revealed contrast extravasation at the distal basilar artery with pseudoaneurysm formation. After this primary survey, the condition of the patient suddenly deteriorated. Conventional angiography confirmed the contrast extravasation resulted from pseudoaneurysm formation, which was successfully treated with endovascular coil embolization. Decompressive craniectomy and coma therapy with propofol were also performed. However, the patient died on the 7th hospital day because of the poor initial clinical condition. The current case is the first report of acute pseudoaneurysm rupture arising from the basilar artery within the first day after trauma. Our findings suggest the possibility that pseudoaneurysm rupture should be considered if brain CT shows thick traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage on the basal cistern with a basal skull fracture.
Traumatic brain injury; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Basilar artery; Pseudoaneurysm
A fifty-year-old female non-smoker with no other specific medical history visited our institute. She complained of axial back pain with no other neurological deficit. Chest X-ray, chest computed tomography (CT) scan, CT-guided needle aspiration biopsy, whole-body positron emission tomography, spine CT and spine magnetic resonance image findings suggested NSCLC with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation, multiple brain metastases, and two isolated metastases to the T3 and L3 vertebral bodies. She underwent chemotherapy with gefitinib (Iressa™) for NSCLC and gamma knife surgery for multiple brain metastases. We performed a two-staged, total en bloc spondylectomy of the T3 and L3 vertebral bodies based on several good prognostic characteristics, such as the lack of metastases to the appendicular bone, good preoperative performance status, and being an excellent responder (Asian, never-smoker and adenocarcinoma histology) to EGFR inhibitors. Improved axial back pain after the surgery enabled her to walk with the aid of a thoracolumbosacral orthosis brace on the third postoperative day. Her Karnofsky performance status score (KPS) was 90 at the time of discharge and has been maintained to date 3 years after surgery. In selected NSCLC patients with good prognostic characteristics, we suggest that locally curative treatment such as total en bloc spondylectomy or radiosurgery should be emphasized to achieve longer term survival for the selected cases.
Lung cancer; Spinal metastasis; Total en bloc spondylectomy
Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease of unknown etiology that may affect any organ in the body. The nervous system is involved in 5-16% of cases of sarcoidosis. Here, we report a case of intramedullary sarcoidosis presenting with delayed spinal cord swelling after laminoplasty for the treatment of compressive cervical myelopathy. A 56-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital complaining of upper extremity pain and gait disturbance. The patient had undergone laminoplasty for compressive cervical myelopathy 3 months previously. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large solitary intramedullary lesion with associated extensive cord swelling, signal changes, and heterogeneous enhancement of spinal cord from C2 to C7. Spinal cord biopsy revealed non-necrotizing granulomas with signs of chronic inflammation. The final diagnosis of sarcoidosis was based upon laboratory data, imaging findings, histological findings, and the exclusion of other diagnoses. Awareness of such presentations and a high degree of suspicion of sarcoidosis may help arrive at the correct diagnosis.
Intramedullary; Laminoplasty; Sarcoidosis; Spinal cord
Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (CHS) is increasingly recognized as an uncommon, but serious, complication subsequent to carotid artery stenting (CAS) and carotid endarterectomy (CEA). The onset of CHS generally occurs within two weeks of CEA and CAS, and a delay in the onset of CHS of over one week after CAS is quite rare. We describe a patient who developed CHS three weeks after CAS with status epilepticus.
Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome; Carotid artery stenting; Carotid artery stenosis; Status epilepticus
Cerebral phaeohyphomycosis (CP) is a very rare but serious form of central nervous system fungal infection that is caused by dematiaceous fungi. It is commonly associated with poor prognosis irrespective of the immune status of the patient. In this study, the authors describe the first case of CP in Korea that occurred in a 75-year-old man without immunodeficiency and showed favorable outcome after surgical excision and antifungal therapy. In addition, the authors herein review the literature regarding characteristics of this rare clinical entity with previously reported cases.
Brain abscess; Cerebral phaeohyphomycosis; Fungal infection; Treatment