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Angiitis, primary CNS [keywords]
- Primary intraocular central nervous system lymphoma masquerading as diffuse retinal vasculitis. [Journal Article]
- BMJ Case Rep 2013.
A 49-year-old woman had blurred vision and floaters of 4 days duration in the right eye. Ocular examination revealed granulomatous panuveitis, vitritis and diffuse retinal vasculitis. Following a strongly positive tuberculin skin test, she received antitubercular therapy with oral steroids and immunosuppressants. A year later, despite therapy, vitritis and vasculitis persisted. Additionally, yellowish white lesions appeared beneath the retinal pigment epithelium. Fluorescein angiography revealed a leopard skin appearance. Following a negative vitreous biopsy, she was subjected to a chorioretinal biopsy which revealed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. MRI was normal. The ocular lesions resolved following intravitreal methotrexate injections. MRI of the brain was repeated every 3 months to rule out central nervous system (CNS) involvement. About 2.5 years after initial presentation, she complained of ataxia, hypersomnia and speech difficulty. MRI of the brain now showed lesions in the thalamocapsular region and the corpus callosum splenium suggestive of CNS lymphoma. She underwent a whole brain radiation with symptomatic improvement followed by chemotherapy.
- Childhood central nervous system vasculitis. [Journal Article]
- Handb Clin Neurol 2013.:1065-78.
Childhood CNS vasculitis is a newly recognized disease entity, which can occur in isolation as a primary disorder - childhood primary angiitis of the CNS (cPACNS)-or secondary to systemic diseases. Since early initiation of treatment is associated with improved disease outcome, rapid evaluation and timely diagnosis are essential. The clinical presentation can be highly variable. Children present with newly acquired focal and/or diffuse neurological deficits and/or psychiatric symptoms. Inflammatory markers and CSF analysis are essential, but show limited sensitivity and specificity. MRI studies are highly sensitive for areas of focal inflammation, however lack specificity. Negative MRI studies do not exclude inflammatory brain disease. Angiography is the key diagnostic modality for large to medium vessel cPACNS. Characteristic angiographic findings include segmental cerebral vessel stenoses and corresponding contrast enhancement in the vessel wall. In children with normal angiography, confirmation of small vessel cPACNS requires brain biopsy. A thorough diagnostic evaluation for cPACNS should include a workup for causes of secondary CNS vasculitis, evaluation for CNS vasculitis mimics, and analysis of markers of nonvasculitic inflammatory brain diseases when appropriate. Early recognition with timely treatment of childhood CNS vasculitis can significantly alter the course of this potentially devastating disease.
- Central nervous system vasculitis. [Journal Article]
- Curr Treat Options Neurol 2013 Jun; 15(3):367-74.
OPINION STATEMENT: A patient presenting with suspected primary central nervous system (CNS) vasculitis is often difficult to manage. Once the diagnosis is suspected, the clinical course may already be severe and warrant timely aggressive treatment with potentially toxic drugs. Definitive diagnosis is often delayed, requiring specialized tests that are only possible in certain centers and sometimes prove to be inconclusive. The need to make a confident diagnosis before starting powerful and potentially toxic immunosuppression, often conflicts with the desire to initiate timely treatment aimed at preventing irreversible neurological dysfunction. The heterogeneity and rarity of this condition is a major obstacle to conducting properly designed, double blinded, placebo-controlled studies. There is no Class I evidence for any form of treatment in these situations, and management guidelines represent expert opinion, based primarily on trials investigating therapies affecting systemic conditions with a CNS vasculitic component. Cyclophosphamide is still the main immunosuppressive drug used during active disease in combination with high dose steroids. Rituximab may be an equally efficacious, less toxic alternative, but its use is still limited due to its cost.
- Cerebral venous thrombosis revealing primary sjögren syndrome: report of 2 cases. [Journal Article]
- Case Rep Med 2013.:747431.
Sjögren syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease of the exocrine glands, characterized by focal lymphocytic infiltration and destruction of these glands. Neurologic complications are quite common, mainly involving the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The most common central nervous system (CNS) manifestations are myelopathy and microcirculation vasculitis. However, specific diagnostic criteria for CNS SS are still lacking. We report two cases of primary SS in which the revealing symptom was cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) in the absence of genetic or acquired thrombophilias.
- Development of a Standardized MRI Scoring Tool for CNS Demyelination In Children. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2013 Jan 24.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:The degree to which MR imaging is useful in the diagnosis of MS is predicated on standardized and reliable evaluation of MR imaging parameters. We aimed to devise items for an MR imaging scoring tool that would have high inter-rater agreement and would be straightforward to apply.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:On the basis of a literature search and consensus of an expert panel, we identified 48 parameters that describe acute CNS demyelination, predict MS diagnosis, or characterize demyelinating disorder mimics. MR images of children with clinically confirmed MS, monophasic ADEM, and angiography-negative biopsy-positive small-vessel primary angiitis of the CNS were scored by 2 neuroradiologists independently, using the preliminary 48-parameter tool. Parameters with Cohen κ ≥ 0.6 and deemed important in predicting diagnosis were retained. Parameters not visualized on routine clinical imaging or not important in differentiating MS, ADEM, and SV-cPACNS were discarded.
RESULTS:Of 65 eligible patients, 55 children were enrolled (16 with monophasic ADEM, 27 with MS, 12 with SV-cPACNS); 10 were excluded (6 had hard-copy films, 4 did not meet MR imaging quality requirements). Of the 48 parameters, 16 were retained in the final scoring tool. The remaining 28 parameters were discarded: 4 had κ < 0.6 and were not deemed useful in predicting diagnosis; 9 were not visible on routinely acquired clinical images; and 15 had inter-rater agreement ≥0.6 but were not useful in differentiating monophasic ADEM, MS, and SV-cPACNS.
CONCLUSIONS:We propose a 16-parameter MR imaging scoring tool that is straightforward to apply in the clinical setting and demonstrates high inter-rater agreement.
- Headache and vasculitis. [Journal Article]
- Curr Pain Headache Rep 2013 Mar; 17(3):320.
Although headaches are common in the general population and have many causes, headaches secondary to inflammatory processes in the blood vessels in the Central Nervous System (CNS) are not so common. The most common types of vasculitis that are associated with headaches include primary CNS vasculitis, systemic necrotizing arteritis, granulomatous vasculitis, and systemic collagen diseases. It is important to differentiate between "true" vasculitides and a condition known and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS). While treatment for many of the vasculitides consists of anti-inflammatory medications, this approach may produce significant complications in RCVS. It is up to the clinician to judiciously use imaging and laboratory data to reach the proper diagnosis and therefore offer the correct treatment to these patients.
- Primary granulomatous angiitis of the CNS preferentially involving small veins with a granulomatous leukoencephalitis-like lesion in the cerebrum. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neuropathology 2012 Dec 21.
We have reported an autopsy case of primary granulomatous angiitis of the CNS preferentially involving the small veins with a granulomatous leukoencepalitis-like lesion in the cerebral white matter of a 48-year-old man. The latter lesion was ischemic necrosis due to circumferential multiple perivenous granulomas in the adjacent Virchow-Robin space. Multifocal progressive involvement of venular adventitia by granulomas, leaving behind mural fibrosis and luminal stenosis, was related clinically to the prolonged stepwise deterioration observed in the patient, and pathologically to diffuse loosening with dilated veins in the deep cerebral white matter and subcortical hemorrhagic infarction in the left parietal lobe through chronic venous stagnation. PCR demonstrated negativity for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Propionibacterium acnes, and in situ hybridization with EBV-encoded small nuclear RNA probe was also negative. The possibility of subarachnoidal latent infection with an unknown avirulent agent causing exclusively perivascular granulomas is proposed. It will be necessary to examine by autopsy whether the type (artery or vein) and size of the involved vessels and the pathological subtype of angiitis is related to the etiopathogenesis and prognosis. It is also pointed out that the entity of lymphocytic angiitis is problematic.
- Chronic and subacute meningitis. [Case Reports, Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Review]
- Continuum (Minneap Minn) 2012 Dec; 18(6 Infectious Disease):1290-318.
This article describes the background, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of selected etiologies of subacute and chronic meningitis. Key diagnostic considerations when evaluating a patient presenting with chronic inflammation of the CNS are discussed, and several specific infectious, neoplastic, and autoimmune etiologies are reviewed in detail.With recent advancement in serologic and CSF diagnostic testing, specific infectious, neoplastic, or autoimmune etiologies of chronic meningitis can be identified. Eliminating previous diagnostic uncertainty of chronic inflammation in the CNS has led to rapid and specific treatment regimens that ultimately improve patient outcomes. Recent advances in imaging have also aided clinicians in both their diagnostic approach and the detection of inflammatory complications such as hydrocephalus, hemorrhage, and ischemic stroke.Meningitis is defined as inflammation involving the meninges of the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be categorized as acute, subacute, or chronic based on duration of inflammation. This article focuses on the most common causes of subacute and chronic meningitis. Chronic meningitis is commonly defined as inflammation evolving during weeks to months without resolution of CSF abnormalities. Determining the time course of meningitis is important for creating a differential diagnosis. Most organisms causing acute meningitis rarely persist more than a few weeks. Although numerous etiologies of subacute and chronic meningitis have been identified, this article focuses on the most common etiologies: (1) infectious, (2) autoimmune, and (3) neoplastic.
- Atypical chronic lymphocytic inflammation with pontocerebellar perivascular enhancement responsive to steroids (CLIPPERS), primary angiitis of the CNS mimicking CLIPPERS or overlap syndrome? A case report. [Journal Article]
- J Neurol Sci 2013 Jan 15; 324(1-2):183-6.
A novel type of encephalomyelitis was first described as chronic lymphocytic inflammation with pontine perivascular enhancement responsive to steroids (CLIPPERS) in 2010 and few additional patients were reported since then. Partially due to its unknown aetiology and a lack of pathognomonic features some have suggested that CLIPPERS may not represent a distinct disease, but rather a syndrome with different underlying aetiologies. Here we report a 49-year-old German female who presented with a number of clinical and paraclinical features described as typical for CLIPPERS, while additionally showing symptoms and findings compatible with primary angiitis of the CNS (PACNS). This case may establish a previously unnoted link between two poorly understood autoimmune conditions of the CNS.
- Primary angiitis of the central nervous system: 2 atypical cases. [Journal Article]
- Folia Neuropathol 2012; 50(3):293-9.
The presence of an angiitis process in the central nervous system (CNS) characterizes different groups of conditions: from idiopathic pachymeningitis to lymphoproliferative disorders. In absence of specific infections, inflammatory and neoplastic diseases, the term "PACNS" (Primary Angiitis of the CNS) was proposed to indicate a peculiar vascular inflammation of unknown origin of meningeal vessels extending to the brain or spinal cord parenchyma. We report two cases of PACNS with peculiar and atypical features: the first one with a possible Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) relationship, the second one with spinal cord involvement only, treated surgically. We also hypothesize a correlation between EBV chronic infection and possible subtypes of PACNS stressing the importance of EBER (EBV-encoded RNA) test in the routine examination of brain biopsies suspicious for PACNS.