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Story of a cisternography: Did we awaken a sleeping “Giant?”

1 Department of Neurology, Apollo Multispeciality Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Radiology, Apollo Multispeciality Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Debabrata Chakraborty,
64/4A/9, Beliaghata Main Road, Kolkata - 700 010, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jascp.jascp_23_22

A 53-year-old lady with no known comorbidity had undergone cisternography for persistent rhinorrhea. Rhinorrhea resolved, and the report was normal. However, a week later, she complained of low back pain, followed by progressive quadriparesis and sphincter dysfunction. A detailed imaging revealed evidence of leptomeningitis around the brain stem, intradural cervical and dorsal collection with nodular enhancement, and clumping of cauda equina roots. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) showed pleocytosis with increased protein and hypoglycorrhachia. CSF cell count was 6000 (all lymphocytes), CSF proteins were 1138 mg%, and CSF glucose was 30 mg% (corresponding blood glucose level of 110 mg%). We did not get any systemic clue about the illness except progressive weight loss. Our team concluded either it is directly a deadly sequel of the dye-related complication of cisternography or activation of a chronic infection in the spine. We treated her with antitubercular drugs and steroids along with physiotherapy. We kept in mind the chronicity of the illness and endemicity of tuberculosis. She responded well and was mobilizable with minimal support. Hence, we continued the same regimen, keeping in mind the responsiveness of the patient to the same. We report this case to realize the possibility of this type of complication even with advanced dye and modern techniques of cisternography. Our case also underscores the requirement of prior imaging (magnetic resonance imaging of the spine) before undertaking such a procedure (cisternography). Last but not the least, sometimes we also need to make decisions based on our clinical knowledge as neurological investigations may be inconclusive in many circumstances.

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