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Clival Chondrosarcoma Associated With an Intra-Axial Cystic Medullary Lesion Responsive to Steroids


Walter, Johannes; Kapitza, Sandra; Krayenbühl, Niklaus; Tarnutzer, Alexander A (2018). Clival Chondrosarcoma Associated With an Intra-Axial Cystic Medullary Lesion Responsive to Steroids. Frontiers in Neurology, 9:502.

Abstract

Here we present a 75-year-old patient who was admitted with acute-onset right-sided hemiparesis, dysphagia, dysarthria and nystagmus. Repeated MRI scans showed two lesions with contact to one another: one solid stationary extra-axial lesion at the caudal part of the clivus and a rapidly growing intra-axial cystic lesion at the level of the medulla oblongata. Biopsy of the solid lesion demonstrated a low-grade chondrosarcoma, while no tissue sample of the cystic lesion could be retrieved. After initiation of dexamethasone therapy the cystic lesion markedly regressed. A literature search on published cases with the same combination of a stationary solid extra-axial mass at the caudal part of the clivus and a growing intra-axial cystic mass in the medulla oblongata was negative, indicating that the case described here is both unique and novel. Considering the rapid progression of symptoms and growth on MR-imaging in combination with the marked response to steroids, an inflammatory response linked to the chondrosarcoma is most likely. At the same time other possible explanations as a second neoplasm, an abscess or an ischemic lesion seem unlikely. This case underlines an unusual complication of a rare brainstem tumor and outlines both the differential diagnosis and potential treatment options. For such cystic lesions in combination with chondrosarcoma, a treatment course with steroids should be considered along with surgical exploration necessary to obtain the diagnosis and for potential reduction of mass-effect on the medulla oblongata.

Abstract

Here we present a 75-year-old patient who was admitted with acute-onset right-sided hemiparesis, dysphagia, dysarthria and nystagmus. Repeated MRI scans showed two lesions with contact to one another: one solid stationary extra-axial lesion at the caudal part of the clivus and a rapidly growing intra-axial cystic lesion at the level of the medulla oblongata. Biopsy of the solid lesion demonstrated a low-grade chondrosarcoma, while no tissue sample of the cystic lesion could be retrieved. After initiation of dexamethasone therapy the cystic lesion markedly regressed. A literature search on published cases with the same combination of a stationary solid extra-axial mass at the caudal part of the clivus and a growing intra-axial cystic mass in the medulla oblongata was negative, indicating that the case described here is both unique and novel. Considering the rapid progression of symptoms and growth on MR-imaging in combination with the marked response to steroids, an inflammatory response linked to the chondrosarcoma is most likely. At the same time other possible explanations as a second neoplasm, an abscess or an ischemic lesion seem unlikely. This case underlines an unusual complication of a rare brainstem tumor and outlines both the differential diagnosis and potential treatment options. For such cystic lesions in combination with chondrosarcoma, a treatment course with steroids should be considered along with surgical exploration necessary to obtain the diagnosis and for potential reduction of mass-effect on the medulla oblongata.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:11 Feb 2019 08:31
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:20
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-2295
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00502
PubMed ID:29997571

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