Central Nervous System Aspergillosis: An Unexpected Complication following Neurosurgery

Diseases. 2018 May 31;6(2):46. doi: 10.3390/diseases6020046.


Post-surgical aspergillosis is an uncommon complication that carries a high mortality rate in affected patients. The diagnosis is challenging given the lack of highly sensitive methods to isolate Aspergillus from surgical sites. Here, we present a case of post-surgical aspergillosis that occurred after the resection of acoustic neuroma in an immunocompetent patient. Imaging revealed leptomeningeal enhancement and a cerebellar extra-axial fluid collection adjacent to the right retrosigmoid craniotomy. The patient was taken to the operating room for debridement, where purulent fluid was obtained from subdural space. The diagnosis was achieved by histopathology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in brain tissue. Appropriate investigations failed to detect contamination in the operating room. The patient was successfully treated with 3 months of voriconazole. We highlight the importance of recognizing this uncommon complication and advocate for the use of molecular techniques to improve the diagnostic yield in central nervous system aspergillosis.

Keywords: Aspergillus; PCR; central nervous system; post-surgical; voriconazole.

Publication types

  • Case Reports