Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 436-439

Giant malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor with cauda equina syndrome and subarachnoid hemorrhage: Complications in a case of type 1 neurofibromatosis

Department of Neurology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tushar B Patil
Department of Neurology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-9668.160029

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Type 1 neurofibromatosis (NF1), which mainly involves ectodermal tissue arising from the neural crest, can increase the risk of developing malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), soft tissue sarcomas and subarachnoid hemorrhage. We describe a patient with neurofibromatosis type 1 who developed soft tissue sarcoma, MPNST, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. A 22-year-old male reported right focal seizures consequence to severe headache. He had a weakness in both legs, could walk only with the support of a stick for the last 3 months and suffered from constipation and intermittent urinary retention for the past 1 week. The patient had a history of swelling in the back of left thigh for which surgical resection was done 6 months back. Cutaneous examination revealed multiple nodules of varying sizes all over the body, along with many café-au-lait spots and Lisch nodule in iris. Patient had weakness in bilateral hip abduction, extension, knee flexion, extension and ankle dorsiflexion and plantiflexion. Bilateral ankle reflexes were absent while other deep tendon reflexes were sub-optimal. A noncontrast computed tomography brain indicated subarachnoid hemorrhage in left perisylvian region. Ultrasound of left thigh showed a hypoechoic solid lesion in the posterior aspect of left thigh in muscle plane. Histopathology of the lesion following resection showed features suggestive of a low-grade pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma. Histology of cutaneous nodules was consistent with neurofibroma. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbosacral spine demonstrated a tumor arising from cauda equina. Histopathological examination of the tumor suggested high-grade MPNST. Unfortunately, the patient's MPNST was inoperable, and he received palliative radiotherapy for local control of the disease. The care of a patient with neurofibromatosis requires a comprehensive multisystem evaluation. MPNST occurs in 8-13% patients with neurofibromatosis. Early diagnosis and surgical resection are key to prolong survival. Though rare, rhabdomyosarcoma can occur with a higher frequency in NF1, necessitating through clinical investigation. Subarachnoid hemorrhage can occur due to aneurismal rupture or vascular friability in NF1 patients.

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