Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

Successful treatment of multiple sinus thromboses and meningitis due to aspergilli and α-streptococci with preemptive antimycotic therapy: a case report

Miho Shinohara, M.D.1)2), Masahiro Nagao, M.D.1) and Shiro Matsubara, M.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, Tokyo Metropolitan Neurological Hospital
2)Department of Neurology, Japanese Red Cross Society Wakayama Medical Center

A 62-year-old immunocompetent woman presented with 11 days of headache, 2 days of right eye ache and 1 day of fever and lethargy. Neurological examination revealed nuchal stiffness, right proptosis, bilateral ptosis, and right abducens palsy. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination revealed elevated white cell count (164/μl) and protein level (115 mg/dl). Cranial MRI showed sphenoid sinusitis, thromboses of the right superior ophthalmic vein, bilateral cavernous sinuses, left sphenoparietal sinus and left sigmoid sinus, and enhanced meninges. Purulent meningitis and multiple mycotic cerebral venous sinus thromboses were diagnosed. After empirical therapy with meropenem, fever persisted and CSF cell count further elevated (668/μl on day 3). Additional treatment with liposomal amphotericin B (L-AMB) and low-dose heparin from day 3 ameliorated her symptoms and lowered her CSF cell count. Laboratory test on admission later revealed elevated serum aspergillus antigen (index=3.6) and positive blood culture for streptococcus viridans. L-AMB was replaced by voriconazole due to skin rash, and the latter was changed to itraconazole due to drug-induced hepatitis. She was discharged without complication and has been free of recurrence for 7 months. Aspergillus has a propensity to invade cerebral vessels and meninges, causing local thrombosis and meningitis with high mortality and morbidity. Direct penetration from adjacent sphenoid sinus can be a cause of cavernous sinus thrombosis, due to extreme thinness of the wall of sphenoid sinus. Cerebral venous sinuses lack valves, and this may facilitate the spread of mycotic thrombus to the other sinuses. Early preemptive treatment with antimycotic agents brought a favorable outcome to our patient.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (558K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 50: 656|660, 2010)
key words: Aspergillosis, intracranial sinus thrombosis, meningitis, sphenoid sinusitis, liposomal amphotericin B

(Received: 18-Mar-10)