Curvularia and the Brain: Case Demonstration of Optimal Management - Abstract
Background: Curvularia is a ubiquitous fungus found in tropical climates and has been reported to grow on marijuana leaves. Rarely, it can infect humans and propagate from the nasal sinuses into the brain. Case: A 28-year-old immunocompetent patient presented with history of nasal polyps, headache, and subtle visual deficits on the right. Imaging revealed what appeared to be an invasive mass growing through the ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses into the anterior cranial fossa. Results: Otolaryngology performed an endoscopic nasal biopsy with pathology and cultures consistent for Curvularia (figure 6). A combination case with neurosurgery and otolaryngology was planned. Surgeons used a bifrontal craniotomy and endonasal approach for gross total resection. Following resection, the patient was placed on 4 weeks of amphotericin treatment followed by 12 months of voriconazole based on recommendations by infectious disease. The patient has been stable since surgery. Conclusion: Curvularia is a rare but potentially life threatening central nervous system infection that can be acquired from inhalational marijuana use. This illustrative case shows the importance of aggressive debridement followed by broad spectrum antifungal treatment to optimize outcome. With marijuana’s increasing popularity, Curvalaria should be included on the differential diagnosis.