Stroke-Like Episodes Heralding a Reversible Encephalopathy: Microbleeds as the Key to the Diagnosis of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy-Related Inflammation - A Case Report and Literature Review

Marcelo D. Mendonça, André Caetano, Miguel Pinto, Vera Cruz E Silva, Miguel Viana-Baptista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is a common, often asymptomatic disease. Lobar intracerebral hemorrhage is the most frequent manifestation of CAA. Nevertheless, presentation of CAA with subacute cognitive decline, seizures, or headache with concomitant hyperintensities on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences and neuropathologic evidence of inflammation has been described. This disorder is known as CAA-related inflammation (CAA-ri). Methods Description of a stroke-like presentation of CAA-ri and systematic review of case reports and case series of CAA-ri. Results A 75-year-old woman with a history of atrial fibrillation, and a transient episode of aphasia 2 days before, presented in the emergency room with sudden onset aphasia. Brain computed tomography disclosed a left temporal hypodensity. A diagnosis of probable stroke was given. During the following days, there was a progressive clinical deterioration. MRI revealed coalescent edematous white matter lesion, hyperintense on T2-weighted sequences, and multiple lobar microbleeds on T2∗-weighted sequences. A diagnosis of CAA-ri was considered, and the patient was started on steroids with clinical and imaging improvement. From our systematic review, microbleeds were present in almost 90% of patients with CAA-ri. Conclusions Imaging findings associated with CAA-ri allow the early diagnosis and treatment of this potentially reversible disorder. Aside from the most common subacute presentations, CAA-ri can have a stroke-like presentation and be a stroke mimic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e245-e250
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Volume24
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015

Keywords

  • cerebral amyloid angiopathy
  • cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related inflammation
  • microbleeds
  • Stroke

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