Intra-arterial application of nimodipine in reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome: a diagnostic tool in select cases?
ABSTRACT Differential diagnoses of the reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) include all forms of intracranial stenotic disease, such as primary or secondary vasculitis of the central nervous system. Here, we tested the hypothesis that angiographic response to intra-arterial nimodipine application may be helpful in differentiating between RCVS and other entities.
A digital subtraction angiographic (DSA) series of nine consecutive patients with suspected RCVS that were treated by intra-arterial nimodipine due to clinical worsening were retrospectively analyzed. Pre- and post-therapeutic DSA findings of patients with later-confirmed RCVS were compared to those in which another diagnosis was finally made.
Intra-arterial nimodipine resulted in a normalization of both the diameter of the main trunks of the cerebral vessels and the caliber of the peripheral vessels in all RCVS patients. This was not the case in the non-RCVS patients, in whom only a slight general vasodilatation was observed.
Our preliminary results indicate that angiographic response to intra-arterial application might be a helpful differential diagnostic tool in select patients with suspected RCVS.
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ABSTRACT: To report fulminant cases of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) in the setting of serotonin syndrome. RCVS is characterized by acute onset of severe headaches, with or without neurologic deficit, with evidence of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction. It is often benign, and prognosis is generally considered favorable. In the largest prospective study on RCVS, only 4% of patients were disabled from strokes and there were no fatalities. We report a case series. We report 2 women with history of depression on selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors who presented with thunderclap headache and dizziness, respectively. Through the course of hospitalization, both patients developed rigidity, diaphoresis, fever, tachycardia with labile blood pressures and clonus on examination. Since there was a recent addition/increase in a known serotonergic agent, they met criteria for serotonin syndrome. Cerebrovascular imaging in both patients revealed severe multi-focal vessel narrowing. The first patient developed large bi-hemispheric ischemic infarcts and increased intra-cranial pressure that was refractory to management, and she eventually expired. The second patient developed bilateral parieto-occipital strokes and decerebrate posturing. Her course slowly stabilized, and she was eventually discharged with residual left-sided hemiparesis. Repeat cerebrovascular imaging 1 month later showed normal vessels. In both patients, intra-arterial nicardipine infusion improved angiographic appearance of stenoses, consistent with RCVS. Both cases satisfied the Sternbach criteria for serotonin syndrome. Fatality in case 1 prevents demonstration of reversal of cerebral vasoconstriction, but improvement of arterial diameters with intra-arterial calcium channel blockers in both cases suggests that both had RCVS. Serotonergic agents are known triggers of RCVS, but the concurrent presence of serotonin syndrome likely precipitated the malignant course in our patients. Severe clinical and angiographic manifestations should be considered as part of the spectrum of RCVS.Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain 09/2013; · 2.94 Impact Factor
- La Presse Médicale 03/2013; · 0.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study summarizes recent advances in neuroimaging of therapy-related brain tissue abnormalities.Current opinion in neurology. 06/2014;