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From: TSS ()
Subject: Investigation of a Possible Iatrogenic Case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease After a Neurosurgical Procedure
Date: December 10, 2006 at 12:10 pm PST

Investigation of a Possible Iatrogenic Case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease After a Neurosurgical Procedure

Natalie Keeler, DVM, Lawrence B. Schonberger, MD, Ermias D. Belay, MD, Lynne Sehulster, PhD, George Turabelidze, MD, and James J. Sejvar, MD

Volume 27(2006), pages 1352 - 1357
DOI: 10.1086/509844

Objective. To investigate a case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) possibly acquired from contaminated neurosurgical instruments.

Design. Retrospective review of medical records, hospital databases, service log books, and state vital statistics.

Setting. A tertiary care hospital (hospital A) in Missouri.

Patients. The case patient was a 38-year-old African American woman with a 9-month history of progressive memory loss, visual disturbances, and dementia. She underwent neurosurgery in November 1996. CJD was confirmed in April 2004 by immunodiagnostic testing of brain biopsy samples. All patients who underwent neurosurgery at the same hospital within 6 months before or after the case patient's procedure were identified and investigated for preoperative or postoperative evidence of CJD.

Results. We reviewed data on 268 neurosurgical procedures, 84 pathology log entries, and 60 death certificates for neurosurgical patients at hospital A and identified 2 suspected cases of CJD. Clinical features and definitive prion testing of stored brain biopsy samples excluded a diagnosis of CJD. Standard operating room procedures were in place, but specific protocols for handling instruments potentially contaminated with prions were not used.

Conclusions. Neurosurgical instruments were not implicated as the source exposure for CJD in the case patient. The 2 patients with suspected CJD were identified from different data sources, suggesting good internal consistency in data collection. The key elements of this investigation are suggested for use in future investigations into potential cases of iatrogenic CJD.¤t_page=content

Diseases and Conditions Reportable In Missouri (19 CSR 20-20.020)

Numbers in parenthesis represent ICD-9 and ICD-10 Codes

Report Diseases and Conditions to your local health agency or to:

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services during business hours 573-751-9071, after hours

and on weekends 800-392-0272 or by fax 573-751-6417

2. Category II diseases or findings and their

reporting requirements are –

(A) Category IIA diseases or finding shall be

reported to the local health authority or the

Department of Health and Senior Services within

three (3) days of first knowledge or suspicion.

Category IIA diseases or findings are—


* Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (046.1, A81.0)


1: J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1994 Jun;57(6):757-8

Transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to a chimpanzee by electrodes contaminated during neurosurgery.

Gibbs CJ Jr, Asher DM, Kobrine A, Amyx HL, Sulima MP, Gajdusek DC.

Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.

Stereotactic multicontact electrodes used to probe the cerebral cortex of a middle aged woman with progressive dementia were previously implicated in the accidental transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) to two younger patients. The diagnoses of CJD have been confirmed for all three cases. More than two years after their last use in humans, after three cleanings and repeated sterilisation in ethanol and formaldehyde vapour, the electrodes were implanted in the cortex of a chimpanzee. Eighteen months later the animal became ill with CJD. This finding serves to re-emphasise the potential danger posed by reuse of instruments contaminated with the agents of spongiform encephalopathies, even after scrupulous attempts to clean them.

PMID: 8006664 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1997 TO 2006. SPORADIC CJD CASES TRIPLED, with phenotype
of 'UNKNOWN' strain growing. ...

There is a growing number of human CJD cases, and they were presented last
week in San Francisco by Luigi Gambatti(?) from his CJD surveillance

He estimates that it may be up to 14 or 15 persons which display selectively
SPRPSC and practically no detected RPRPSC proteins.


MARCH 26, 2003

RE-Monitoring the occurrence of emerging forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob

disease in the United States

Email Terry S. Singeltary:

I lost my mother to hvCJD (Heidenhain Variant CJD). I would like to

comment on the CDC's attempts to monitor the occurrence of emerging

forms of CJD. Asante, Collinge et al [1] have reported that BSE

transmission to the 129-methionine genotype can lead to an alternate

phenotype that is indistinguishable from type 2 PrPSc, the commonest

sporadic CJD. However, CJD and all human TSEs are not reportable

nationally. CJD and all human TSEs must be made reportable in every

state and internationally. I hope that the CDC does not continue to

expect us to still believe that the 85%+ of all CJD cases which are

sporadic are all spontaneous, without route/source. We have many TSEs in

the USA in both animal and man. CWD in deer/elk is spreading rapidly and

CWD does transmit to mink, ferret, cattle, and squirrel monkey by

intracerebral inoculation. With the known incubation periods in other

TSEs, oral transmission studies of CWD may take much longer. Every

victim/family of CJD/TSEs should be asked about route and source of this

agent. To prolong this will only spread the agent and needlessly expose

others. In light of the findings of Asante and Collinge et al, there

should be drastic measures to safeguard the medical and surgical arena

from sporadic CJDs and all human TSEs. I only ponder how many sporadic

CJDs in the USA are type 2 PrPSc?

Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Singeltary, Sr et al. JAMA.2001; 285: 733-734.




Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

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