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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar




Candida Shunt Infection Causing Arachnoiditis and Hydrocephalus: A Case Report.


Kim JJ, Li C, Ammanuel SG, Elbayomy AM, Page PS, Ahmed AS
Cureus. 2022 Mar; 14(3):e23675.
PMID: 35510023.


Arachnoiditis is a relatively rare condition and can result in long-term chronic and debilitating complications if not diagnosed early and treated properly. However, diagnosis of arachnoiditis is rare and knowledge of potential causes of this condition is still sparse. Current known causes of arachnoiditis include infections, trauma, spinal tumors, and iatrogenic causes induced via neurological interventions. Here, we present a case of a 65-year-old female who presented with arachnoiditis caused by infection from a contaminated ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt, placed following the development of hydrocephalus from subarachnoid hemorrhage. During her initial assessment, the possibility of arachnoiditis was raised after spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) due to leg weakness and spasms with bladder dysfunction. However, further workup was not pursued after a normal spinal angiogram and lack of constitutional symptoms. She presented six months later with symptoms of fever and lower abdominal pain. She was diagnosed with fungal arachnoiditis after a computerized tomography (CT) of the abdomen showed thickening of the fascia around the shunt catheter and fluid collections near the tip of the shunt in the abdominal cavity after hospitalization. The diagnosis was made after an ultrasound-guided tap of the same area revealed budding yeast and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) showed growths of . Her shunt was removed, and she received intravenous (IV) antifungals and recovered. MRI should be considered with clinical presentations that are characteristic of arachnoiditis. Symptoms from fungal infections are usually dramatic; however, in some instances as in this case, they may follow a more progressive course. The patient should be extensively evaluated for infection, especially fungal, in interventions involving device placement even when minimally, but persistently, symptomatic.