Delhi doctors treat man for rare life-threatening brain tumour

New Delhi: A 53-year-old man has been given a new lease of life after doctors here successfully treated him for a life-threatening brain tumour, that was earlier diagnosed as brain tuberculosis (Tb).

The patient was being treated with Tb medications for a mass seen in the brain.

Even after five months of Tb treatment, there was no significant decrease in the size of the mass, and rather it was increasing.

The patient was suffering from persistent headaches and physical imbalance. Seeing further deterioration in his health and in spite of regular medications, and no improvement in his health, he was referred to Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.

The doctors here did a repeat MRI brain scan, which revealed a large mass in the brain suggestive of TB.

As the size of the tumour was quite large (35*32*34 cm), the team decided to remove it surgically as medication wasn’t helpful.

During the surgery, the doctors were surprised to discover a large mass full of blood vessels covering the left side of the cerebellum (known as the small brain).

An immediate surgery was performed to remove the mass which would have otherwise led to other health complications like coma, limb weakness, and accumulation of fluid in the brain.

“We were shocked the moment we began the surgery as we saw a large mass full of blood vessels in his brain. Without further delay, the patient was taken to the Cath lab for an angiogram which helped us understand the source of the blood supply to the tumour,” said Dr Sonal Gupta, Director andA HOD -Neurosurgery, at Fortis.

“His reports, later, confirmed that he was actually suffering from a rare kind of vascular tumour, medically known as haemangioblastoma,” she added.

The surgery lasted for 7 hours, and the entire mass filled with blood vessels was removed without any major blood loss. After 2 days in neuro-ICU and 5 days in the ward, the patient was successfully discharged, went home walking without the support of a wheelchair, Gupta said.

Haemangioblastoma is a benign, highly vascular tumour that can occur in the brain, spinal cord, and retina. This tumour accounts for about 2 per cent of brain tumours. Even in the era of technology and advanced clinical procedures, even advanced investigation modality like MRI can be misleading at times and can even lead to mortality.

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