Aim: To study the pattern of central nervous system aspergillosis in a tropical country.
Material and methods: Case records of patients with CNS aspergillosis seen by the authors in a university hospital in south India were reviewed.
Results: Of the 21 patients seen during the study period, 16 (76%) patients had intracranial invasion by contiguous spread from paranasal sinuses and one had from ear. Predisposing risk factors were present in two (12.5%) patients with sinocranial aspergillosis and in both patients with disseminated form. Skull bases syndromes were the presenting features in 13 patients, six patients presented with features of intracranial space occupying lesion and two patients had stroke like presentation. CT scans showed intracranial extradural contrast enhancing mass lesions in the anterior, middle or posterior cranial fossa in addition to mass lesions in the paranasal sinuses in 13 patients with sinocranial aspergillosis and in seven orbital lesions. Intracerebral contrast enhancing mass lesion was the CT finding in both the patients with solitary cerebral aspergillus granuloma and in the patient with otocranial aspergillus granuloma. Well-formed granuloma with dense fibrosis was the histological feature in patients with sinocranial and otocranial aspergillosis. Angioinvasion was the pathological feature in both the patients with disseminated form of aspergillosis. Surgical treatment was sub-radical in our series. Survival rates were not good even after surgical and antifungal chemotherapy.
Conclusions: This study suggests that in this part of the world sinocranial aspergillosis is the most common form of histologically verified CNS aspergillosis. Associated predisposing factors and immune status of the host determine the clinical syndrome and type of pathology in patients with CNS aspergillosis.