Nocardia Abscess of the Choroid Plexus: Clinical and Pathological Case Report

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Cerebral Nocardia abscesses are rare, accounting for approximately 1 to 2% of all cerebral abscesses. Prompt aggressive surgical treatment involving craniotomy and excision of these lesions has been advocated by many authors, because these lesions have significantly higher morbidity and mortality rates than do m ost other cerebral abscesses. We report an atypical presentation of cerebral nocardiosis localized to the choroid plexus of the lateral ventricle.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION:

A 56-year-old man presented with a 3-week history of fever, cough, and progressive headache and an ensuing 3-day history of progressive lethargy, confusion, and gait ataxia. Radiographic studies demonstrated a loculated contrast-enhancing left lateral ventricular lesion with significant perilesional parenchymal edema that was thought preoperatively to be a neoplasm.

INTERVENTION:

The patient underwent a craniotomy for resection of the lesion. Intraoperatively, a reddish gray lesion with purulent exudate was encountered within the left lateral ventricle intimately adherent to the choroid plexus as well as to the ependyma and subependymal veins. A frozen section demonstrated an organizing abscess wall. The lesion was resected in its entirety, and multiple cultures were sent for analysis.

CONCLUSION:

Microbiology cultures grew Nocardia asteroides. A course of intravenous antibiotics was started, which included trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, amikacin, and ceftriaxone. Two weeks after surgery, at the time of discharge, the patient's neurological status had improved considerably. Although Nocardia abscesses have been documented to occur throughout the central nervous system, the presentation of a lesion confined to the choroid plexus of the lateral ventricle with significant parenchymal edema is unusual and demonstrates that Nocardia abscesses must be considered in the differential diagnosis of a contrast-enhancing intraventricular mass lesion involving the choroid plexus.

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