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Papers of the Week

2020 Sep

Radiol Case Rep



Central skull base osteomyelitis manifesting with a preclival mass and internal carotid artery mycotic aneurysm.


Kristenson S, Jackson A, Mendoza YM, Fullmer C, Boldt B
Radiol Case Rep. 2020 Sep; 15(9):1512-1517.
PMID: 32670451.


Central skull base osteomyelitis is a rare entity that can demonstrate confounding radiologic, clinical, and laboratory data leading to a delay in diagnosis. The morbidity and mortality for skull base osteomyelitis are both high, thus a rapid diagnosis is required for appropriate treatment. In this case report, we discuss a 68-year-old male who presented with acute left facial nerve paralysis in the setting of chronic headache and left mucoid middle ear effusion. Radiologic evaluation revealed abnormal hypointense marrow of the central skull base on T1 weighted magnetic resonance imaging, preclival mass-like tissue, and short segment luminal narrowing of the left cervical ICA with mycotic aneurysm formation. Extensive workup via a multidisciplinary approach, including neurology, otolaryngology, neurosurgery and radiology led to a diagnosis of central skull base osteomyelitis. A familiarity of this disease process is important for the radiologist in order to facilitate appropriate patient referral and treatment. This case emphasizes the importance of considering this diagnosis in the setting of headache, cranial neuropathy, and abnormal skull base imaging with adjacent preclival soft tissue mass.