IgG4-related pachymeningitis masquerading as foramen magnum meningioma: illustrative case

Haggai Suisa, Jean Francois Soustiel, Yuval Grober

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BACKGROUND Immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is an immune-mediated inflammatory condition with potential multiorgan involvement. Common manifestations include autoimmune pancreatitis and retroperitoneal fibrosis. Pathological analysis reveals lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate rich in IgG4-positive cells and characteristic storiform fibrosis. Early treatment with glucocorticoids may prevent progression to poorly responsive fibrotic disease. OBSERVATIONS A 63-year-old female patient presented with reports of left-sided headaches, nausea, and photophobia in addition to recently diagnosed chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Neurological examination revealed dysarthria secondary to left hypoglossal nerve palsy. Computed tomography (CT) revealed a contrast-enhancing extraaxial mass at the left craniocervical junction, CRS with secondary hyperostotic reaction, and multiple hypodense lesions involving the occipital bone. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a dural-based lesion involving the foramen magnum and invading the left hypoglossal canal. The patient underwent a far-lateral craniotomy. Histopathological analysis revealed severe lymphoplasmacytic inflammation, storiform fibrosis and rich plasma-cell population positive for IgG4. Serum IgG4 was markedly elevated. Total-body CT showed no systemic involvement. The patient was diagnosed with IgG4-RD and was prescribed prednisone, with normalization of her IgG4 levels after 1 month. LESSONS IgG4-RD may mimic a variety of diseases, including skull-base meningiomas and CRS. Accurate diagnosis and expedited administration of steroids may prevent unnecessary interventions and progression to treatment-resistant fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCASE21398
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • CRS; chronic rhinosinusitis
  • IgG4 related disease
  • IgG4-RD
  • foramen magnum meningioma
  • hypoglossal palsy


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