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July 1981

Focal Encephalopathy Following Methotrexate Therapy: Administration Via a Misplaced Intraventricular Catheter

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of Neurology (Drs Packer and Berman), Oncology (Drs Rosenstock and Norris), and Pathology (Dr Rorke), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and Departments of Neurology (Drs Packer and Berman) and Neuroradiology (Dr Zimmerman), Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Arch Neurol. 1981;38(7):450-452. doi:10.1001/archneur.1981.00510070084016

• Two patients with lymphoreticular malignant neoplasms and leptomeningeal tumor spread were treated with intraventricular administration of methotrexate via an Ommaya reservoir. The intraventricular instillation of methotrexate resulted in focal CNS damage in brain parenchyma inadvertently pierced by the shunt. Disorientation, aphasia, and right hemiparesis developed in both patients. Computed tomography disclosed a contrast-enhancing, low-density mass in the left cerebral cortex where the distal shunt tip was lodged. In one case the lesion was pathologically consistent with chronic inflammation. A lesion occurred in one patient despite repositioning of the shunt prior to methotrexate instillation. Shunt removal and administration of systemic corticosteroids resulted in resolution of symptoms in one patient.

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