Fungal mycotic aneurysm in a patient with Aspergillus terreus chronic meningoencephalitis.

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Fungal mycotic aneurysm in a patient with Aspergillus terreus chronic meningoencephalitis.

Surg Neurol Int. 2020;11:139

Authors: Sangrador-Deitos MV, Olvera JAG, Espinal HA, Hernández GC, Morales VA, Soto Hernandez JL

Background: Central nervous system involvement due to aspergillosis is an extremely serious entity, particularly in patients with severe neutropenia, hematological diseases, or post-transplant cases. Immunocompetent patients can be infected by intense exposure, particularly iatrogenic after invasive procedures.
Case Description: We present the case of a 26-year-old male with a 1 year appendectomy background, which required epidural anesthesia. After that surgery, insidious headache presented, requiring mild analgesics for adequate control. In the following weeks, headaches increased and tomographic imaging revealed hydrocephalus. A ventriculoperitoneal shunt was placed, and empirical treatment for neurocysticercosis was established, but diagnosis was never confirmed. Sequentially, shunt dysfunction occurred twice, for which shunt replacement was performed. Cerebrospinal fluid and shunt’s catheter were cultured. Some days later, a filamentous fungus was isolated and finally identified as Aspergillus sp. Intravenous amphotericin B and fluconazole at therapeutic dosage were administered; however, a torpid clinical evolution was observed. After a 2-week antifungal scheme, the fungus was identified as Aspergillus terreus. The patient developed sudden rostrocaudal deterioration. Computed tomography imaging was done, revealing a 70 cc hematoma in the right operculoinsular region, midline shift, and a 9 mm saccular aneurysm at the bifurcation of the middle cerebral artery.
Conclusion: Cerebral aspergillosis is a serious disease with high mortality in patients, particularly those without identifiable risk factors. The iatrogenic forms are serious, due to the delay of clinical diagnosis. It is important to have a high index of suspicion in patients with a history of invasive procedures such as epidural anesthesia or surgery, and who develop a persistent chronic headache or chronic meningitis.

PMID: 32547826 [PubMed]

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