Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome

Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome

Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), AKA Call-Fleming syndrome, 1) a group of disorders sharing the cardinal clinical and angiographic features of reversible segmental multifocal cerebral vasoconstriction with severe headaches, focal ischemia, and/or seizures. May present as a hemorrhage restricted to a cortical sulcus

Epidemiology

RCVS has been reported to occur more frequently in women aged 20 to 50 years.

Etiology

Several mechanisms have been postulated involving transient deregulation of cerebral arterial tone, small vessel endothelial dysfunction, biochemical factors, hormonal deregulation, oxidative stress, and genetic predisposition. All these mechanisms and triggers are related with sympathetic over-activation which eventually produce vasoconstriction. RCVS is distinguished by acute severe recurrent thunderclap headaches with or without other neurological symptoms. However, the diagnosis can be challenging and most likely underdiagnosed requiring a high level of suspicion from the clinician 2).

Clinical features

Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) has emerged as the most frequent cause of thunderclap headache (TCH) in patients without aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, and as the most frequent cause of recurrent TCHs.

The typical TCHs of RCVS are multiple, recurring over a few days to weeks, excruciating, short-lived, and brought up by exertion, sexual activities, emotion, Valsalva maneuvers, or bathing, among other triggers. All these triggers induce sympathetic activation. In a minority of cases with RCVS, TCH heralds stroke and rarely death. Early diagnosis of RCVS in patients who present with isolated headache enables proper management and might reduce the risk of eventual stroke 3).

Outcome

Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is characterized by severe headache and diffuse segmental constriction of cerebral arteries that resolves spontaneously within a few months. Although manifestations of stroke are not included in diagnostic criteria of RCVS, it is known that some cases may be associated with stroke, including intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or cerebral infarction.


Intracerebral hemorrhage is the most common vascular complication in hospitalized RCVS patients, resulting in longer hospitalizations with more invasive procedures and higher healthcare expenditure. However, overall outcomes are excellent regardless of types of ICH, with no inpatient mortality observed in patients with hemorrhagic RCVS. Female sex and middle to older age-group are associated with higher odds of ICH. 4).

Case series

162 patients with RCVS. Clinical, brain imaging, and angiography data were analyzed.

The mean age was 44±13 years, 78% women. Hemorrhages occurred in 43% including 21 patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and 62 with convexal subarachnoid hemorrhage (cSAH). The frequency of triggers (eg, vasoconstrictive drugs) and risk factors (eg, migraine) were not significantly different between hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic RCVS or between subgroups (ICH versus non-ICH, isolated cSAH versus normal scan). Hemorrhagic lesions occurred within the first week, whereas infarcts and vasogenic edema accumulated during 2 to 3 weeks (P<0.001). Although all ICHs occurred before cSAH, their time course was not significantly different (P=0.11). ICH and cSAH occurred earlier than infarcts (P≤0.001), and ICH earlier than vasogenic edema (P=0.009). Angiogram analysis showed more severe vasoconstriction in distal versus proximal segments in all lesion types (ICH, cSAH, infarction, vasogenic edema, and normal scan). The isolated infarction group had more severe proximal vasoconstriction, and those with normal imaging had significantly less vasoconstriction. Multivariable analysis failed to uncover independent predictors of hemorrhagic RCVS; however, female sex predicted ICH (P=0.048), and angiographic severity predicted infarction (P=0.043).

ICH and cSAH are common complications of RCVS. Triggers and risk factors do not predict lesion subtype but may alter central vasomotor control mechanisms resulting in centripetal angiographic evolution. Early distal vasoconstriction is associated with lobar ICH and cSAH, and delayed proximal vasoconstriction with infarction 5).

Case reports

2018

Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome Without Typical Thunderclap Headache Complicated by Intracranial Hemorrhage and Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome:A Case Report 6).


Al-Mufti et al. from the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, describe a case of medically refractory Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) that required treatment with intra-arterial (IA) verapamil and subsequent nimodipine, resulting in both angiographic and clinical improvement after failing to respond to hemodynamic augmentation.

They also supplement a description of the case with a review of other case studies and case series in which IA calcium channel blockers were used to treat RCVS. They propose that the case they outline demonstrates that neurointerventional management with IA verapamil is appropriate and effective as an early intervention of medically refractory RCVS.

Using PubMed and Google Scholar, they performed a search of the English language literature with several combinations of the keywords “intra-arterial”, “calcium channel blockers”, “reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome”, “RCVS”, “nimodipine”, “verapamil”, “milrinone”, and “nicardipine” to identify studies in which RCVS was treated with IA calcium channel blockers.

They identified eight case studies and case series that met our inclusion criteria. Eighteen patients are encompassed in these eight studies.

IA administration of calcium channel blockers has been shown to return cerebral vessels to their normal caliber in patients with medically refractory RCVS. However, there are no randomized controlled trials of the treatment of RCVS, and further studies are needed to elucidate the optimal treatment protocol for medically refractory RCVS 7).


Gonsales et al., present an unusual case of an 18-year-old female who developed RCVS after embolization of a dural arteriovenous fistula with onyx embolic material. A cerebral angiogram was performed and verapamil was administered intra-arterially demonstrating slight improvement of the constricted vessels with clinical improvement. The patient was maintained on oral verapamil during hospitalization. At 7-month follow-up, the patient was neurologically stable and a cerebral angiogram demonstrated no signs of vasoconstriction.

Endovascular procedures are a rare trigger for the development of RCVS and may be misdiagnosed. Prompt recognition of symptoms and diagnosis with treatment are necessary to reduce the risk of stroke. The management should follow the premise of discontinuing precipitating drugs and administering CCBs 8).

2016

A 19-year-old woman had a thunderclap headache, followed by left hemiparesis and left homonymous hemianopsia. Laboratory tests showed no signs of infection and immunological test results were unremarkable. MRI revealed a cerebral infarction in the right posterior cerebral artery territory, and digital subtraction angiography(DSA)showed right posterior cerebral artery stenosis on day 2. The first follow-up DSA demonstrated an irregular, bead-like appearance on day 9, but the stenotic lesion returned to normal on day 21. Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome should be suspected in cases of rapid resolution of symptoms 9).

2014

Ishi et al. present three cases of RCVS associated with various types of stroke, and then review the literature. Case 1:A 49-year-old woman presented with a headache followed by left hemiparesis and dysarthria. One month before the onset, she was transfused for severe anemia caused by uterus myoma. CT images revealed intracerebral hemorrhages in the right putamen and right occipital lobe. Angiography revealed multiple segmental constrictions of the cerebral arteries. One month after the onset, these vasoconstrictions improved spontaneously. Case 2:A postpartum 38-year-old woman who had a history of migraine presented with thunderclap headache. Imaging revealed a focal subarachnoid hemorrhage in the right postcentral sulcus and segmental vasoconstriction of the right middle cerebral artery. One week after the onset, this vasoconstriction improved spontaneously. Case 3:A 32-year-old woman who had a history of migraine presented with headache followed by left homonymous hemianopsia. Imaging revealed a cerebral infarction of the right occipital lobe and multiple constrictions of the right posterior cerebral artery. These vasoconstrictions gradually improved spontaneously 10).

References

1)

Call GK, Fleming MC, Sealfon S, et al. Reversible cerebral segmental vasoconstriction. Stroke. 1988; 19:1159–1170
2) , 8)

Gonsales D, das Gracas F, Santos R, Aguilar-Salinas P, Hanel RA. Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome as an Unusual Complication of a Dural Arteriovenous Fistula treated with Onyx Embolization. World Neurosurg. 2018 May 8. pii: S1878-8750(18)30931-8. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.04.211. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29751188.
3)

Ducros A, Wolff V. The Typical Thunderclap Headache of Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome and its Various Triggers. Headache. 2016 Apr;56(4):657-73. doi: 10.1111/head.12797. Epub 2016 Mar 26. Review. PubMed PMID: 27015869.
4)

Patel SD, Topiwala K, Saini V, et al. Hemorrhagic reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome: A retrospective observational study [published online ahead of print, 2020 Sep 7]. J Neurol. 2020;10.1007/s00415-020-10193-y. doi:10.1007/s00415-020-10193-y
5)

Topcuoglu MA, Singhal AB. Hemorrhagic Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome: Features and Mechanisms. Stroke. 2016 Jun 7. pii: STROKEAHA.116.013136. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27272485.
6)

Miki K, Takemoto K, Morishita T, Kouzaki Y, Irie Y, Iwaasa M, Abe H, Inoue T. [Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome Without Typical Thunderclap Headache Complicated by Intracranial Hemorrhage and Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome:A Case Report]. No Shinkei Geka. 2018 Dec;46(12):1111-1115. doi: 10.11477/mf.1436203877. Japanese. PubMed PMID: 30572309.
7)

Al-Mufti F, Dodson V, Wajswol E, El-Ghanem M, Alchaki A, Nuoman R, Thabet A, Sutherland A, Roychowdhury S, Hidalgo A, Gupta G. Chemical angioplasty for medically refractory reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome(). Br J Neurosurg. 2018 Sep 12:1-5. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2018.1479512. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30207193.
9)

Koh M, Tsuboi Y, Fukuda O. [A Case of Juvenile Cerebral Infarction due to Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome]. No Shinkei Geka. 2016 Nov;44(11):965-969. Japanese. PubMed PMID: 27832620.
10)

Ishi Y, Sugiyama T, Echizenya S, Yokoyama Y, Asaoka K, Itamoto K. [Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome associated with stroke: three case reports]. No Shinkei Geka. 2014 Feb;42(2):129-36. Japanese. PubMed PMID: 24501186.

Pallidal Deep Brain Stimulation for Lance-Adams syndrome

Pallidal Deep Brain Stimulation for Lance-Adams syndrome

A 79-year-old woman presented with a history of cardiac arrest due to internal carotid artery rupture following carotid endarterectomy after successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation. However, within 1 month, the patient developed sensory stimulation-induced myoclonus in her face and extremities. Because her myoclonic symptoms were refractory to pharmacotherapy, deep brain stimulation of the GPi was performed 1 year after the hypoxic attack.

Continuous bilateral Pallidal Deep Brain Stimulation with optimal parameter settings remarkably improved the patient’s myoclonic symptoms. At the 2-year follow-up, her Unified Myoclonus Rating Scale score decreased from 90 to 24. In addition, Mure et al. observed burst firing and interburst pause patterns on intraoperative microelectrode recordings of the bilateral GPi and stimulated this area as the therapeutic target.

The results show that impairment in the basal ganglion circuitry might be involved in the pathogenesis of myoclonus in patients with Lance-Adams syndrome 1).


A 23-year-old male with chronic medication refractory PHM following a cardiopulmonary arrest related to an asthmatic attack who improved with bilateral globus pallidus internus (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS). Ramdhani et al. reviewed the clinical features of PHM, as well as the preoperative and postoperative Unified Myoclonus Rating Scale scores and DBS programming parameters in this patient and compare them with the three other published PHM-DBS cases in the literature.

This patient experienced an alleviation of myoclonic jerks at rest and a 39% reduction in action myoclonus with improvement in both positive and negative myoclonus with bilateral GPi-DBS. High frequency stimulation (130 Hz) with amplitudes >2.5 V were needed for the therapeutic response.

They demonstrated a robust improvement in a medication refractory PHM patient with bilateral GPi-DBS, and suggest that it is a viable therapeutic option for debilitating post-hypoxic myoclonus 2).


The first case of a patient who developed action myoclonus after experiencing perinatal anoxia and was successfully treated by chronic deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the thalamus (thalamic DBS).

The effectiveness of chronic thalamic DBS in this patient supports the concept of involvement of the thalamus in post-perinatal anoxic myoclonus 3).


Asahi T, Kashiwazaki D, Dougu N, et al. Alleviation of myoclonus after bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation for Lance-Adams syndrome. J Neurol. 2015;262(6):1581-1583. doi:10.1007/s00415-015-7748-x 4).


Yamada K, Sakurama T, Soyama N, Kuratsu J. Gpi pallidal stimulation for Lance-Adams syndrome. Neurology. 2011;76(14):1270-1272. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31821482f4 5).

References

1)

Mure H, Toyoda N, Morigaki R, Fujita K, Takagi Y. Clinical Outcome and Intraoperative Neurophysiology of the Lance-Adams Syndrome Treated with Bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation of the Globus Pallidus Internus: A Case Report and Review of the Literature [published online ahead of print, 2020 Sep 7]. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2020;1-5. doi:10.1159/000509318
2) , 3)

Ramdhani RA, Frucht SJ, Kopell BH. Improvement of Post-hypoxic Myoclonus with Bilateral Pallidal Deep Brain Stimulation: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y). 2017;7:461. Published 2017 May 19. doi:10.7916/D8NZ8DXP
4)

Asahi T, Kashiwazaki D, Dougu N, et al. Alleviation of myoclonus after bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation for Lance-Adams syndrome. J Neurol. 2015;262(6):1581-1583. doi:10.1007/s00415-015-7748-x
5)

Yamada K, Sakurama T, Soyama N, Kuratsu J. Gpi pallidal stimulation for Lance-Adams syndrome. Neurology. 2011;76(14):1270-1272. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31821482f4

Foix-Chavany-Marie Syndrome case reports

Foix-Chavany-Marie Syndrome case reports

Demaerel R, Klein S, Van Calenbergh F. Syndrome of the Trephined presenting as Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 30]. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2020;196:106058. doi:10.1016/j.clineuro.2020.106058


Digby et al.from the Division of Neurosurgery, Addenbrooke’s HospitalCambridge, describes a case of a 62-year-old man who developed Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome subsequent to traumatic brain injury. The initial presentation of the syndrome was profound loss of voluntary control of orofacial muscles, causing a loss of speech and impairment of swallow. Over subsequent months, a remarkable recovery of these functions was observed. The natural history of FCMS in this case was favourable, with good improvement in function over months. Furthermore, the pattern of bilateral opercular injury was more readily recognised on MRI than on CT, supporting the role of MRI in cases of traumatic brain injury 1).


Nitta et al.from the Department of Neurosurgery, Shiga University of Medical Science, Setatsukinowa-cho, Otsu, reported a Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome after unilateral anterior opercular contusion 2).


Martino et al. from the Department of Neurological Surgery, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla and Instituto de Formación e Investigación Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, reported a 25-year-old right-handed man with an incidentally diagnosed right frontotemporoinsular tumor who underwent surgery using an asleep-awake-asleep technique with direct cortical and subcortical electrical stimulation and a transopercular approach to the insula. While resecting the anterior part of the pars opercularis the patient suffered sudden anarthria and bilateral facial weakness. He was unable to speak or show his teeth on command, but he was able to voluntarily move his upper and lower limbs. This syndrome lasted for 8 days. Postoperative diffusion tensor imaging tractography revealed that connections of the pars opercularis of the right inferior frontal gyrus with the frontal aslant tract (FAT) and arcuate fasciculus (AF) were damaged. This case supplies evidence for localizing the structural substrate of FCMS. It was possible, for the first time in the literature, to accurately correlate the occurrence of FCMS to the resection of connections between the FAT and AF, and the right pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus. The FAT has been recently described, but it may be an important connection to mediate supplementary motor area control of orofacial movement. The present case also contributes to our knowledge of complication avoidance in operculoinsular surgery. A transopercular approach to insuloopercular gliomas can generate FCMS, especially in cases of previous contralateral lesions. The prognosis is favorable, but the patient should be informed of this particular hazard, and the surgeon should anticipate the surgical strategy in case the syndrome occurs intraoperatively in an awake patient 3).


In 2013 Theys et al. from the Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospitals Leuven, reported a 48-year-old male patient recovering from complete anarthria after unilateral right-sided subcortical hemorrhagic stroke is described. The main outcome measures included clinical and neuroimaging data at three different time points (at the onset of symptoms, after 6 weeks and after 6 months). At 6 weeks, increased activations in the right and left frontal operculum were found and were followed by a trend towards normalization of the activation pattern at 6 months. These results suggest a role of anterior opercular regions in recovery from anarthria after subcortical stroke 4).


In 2009 Campbell et al. from the Department of Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, presented a transient manifestation of the syndrome, in a patient who suffered two sequential traumatic brain injuries 5).


In 2006 Duffau et al. from the Department of Neurosurgery, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris reported in 42 patients a Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome in 3 cases 6).


In 2003 they reported a 26-year-old right-handed man experienced partial seizures that were poorly controlled by antiepileptic drugs during a 2-year period as a result of a right insulo-opercular low grade glioma, leading to the proposal of surgical resection. In addition, 1 year before the operation, the patient experienced a severe brain injury that resulted in a coma. A computed tomographic scan revealed left opercular contusion. The patient recovered completely within 6 months.

Intraoperative corticosubcortical electrical functional mapping was performed along the resection, allowing the identification and preservation of the facial and upper limb motor structures. A subtotal removal of the glioma was achieved. The patient had postoperative anarthria, with loss of voluntary muscular functions of the face and tongue, and he had trouble chewing and swallowing. All of these symptoms resolved within 3 months.

These findings provide insight into the use of surgery to treat a right insulo-opercular tumor. First, surgeons must be particularly cautious in cases with a potential contralateral lesion (e.g., history of head injury), even if such a lesion is not visible on magnetic resonance imaging scans; preoperative metabolic imaging and electrophysiological investigations should be considered before an operative decision is made. Second, surgeons must perform intraoperative functional mapping to identify and to attempt to preserve the corticosubcortical facial motor structures. A procedure performed while the patient is awake should be discussed to detect the structures involved in chewing and swallowing in cases of suspected bilateral lesions. Third, the patient must be informed of this particular risk before surgery is performed 7).


A 10-year-old boy was brain injured in a traffic accident in August 1996. He was found comatous (initial GCS = 6) without any focal neurological deficit. The hemodynamic situation was stable even though he presented two wounds of the scalp and a hemoperitoneum that required intensive perfusions. The initial CT scan elicited a frontal fracture, ischemo hemorrhagic lesions of the right frontopolar and anterior temporal cortex. On the second day, he developed on the left side a subdural collection and a extradural hematoma which was surgically withdrawn. The comatous state ended on the ninth day. On examination, The child was awake and alert, able to understand spoken and written language but unable to speak. There was masticatory diplegia: the mouth was half open, the patient was drooling, chewing was impossible. The most striking feature was the automatic voluntary dissociation which might be observed on laughing, crying and yawning. The patient was unable to initiate swallowing but reflex swallowing was preserved once food was placed into the pharynx. The child had a deficit of voluntary control of muscles supplied by nerves V, VI, IX, X, XI. These clinical features are the hallmarks of SFMC. The first case was reported in 1837 by Magnus. The syndrome was described by Foix Chavany et Marie in 1926, and called SFMC by Weller (1993). His literature review of 62 SFMC allowed the differentiation of five clinical types: the classical and most common form associated with cerebrovascular disease, a subacute form caused by central nervous system infections, a developmental form, a reversible form in children with epilepsy and a rare type associated with neurodegenerative disorders. Bilateral opercular lesions was confirmed in 31 of 41 patients who had CT or MRI performed, and by necropsy in 7 of 10 patients. As previously reported, the outcome was poor for this boy who recovered very limited orofacial motor abilities. The medical functional readaptation was long et tedious and took in consideration the fact that the speech disturbance was anarthria and not an aphasic or an apraxic one and the age of onset of this acute acquired syndrome 8).

References

1)

Digby R, Wells A, Menon D, Helmy A. Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome secondary to bilateral traumatic operculum injury. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2018 Oct 17. doi: 10.1007/s00701-018-3702-x. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30328523.
2)

Nitta N, Shiino A, Sakaue Y, Nozaki K. Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome after unilateral anterior opercular contusion: a case report. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2013 Aug;115(8):1539-41. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2012.12.036. Epub 2013 Jan 28. PubMed PMID: 23369402.
3)

Martino J, de Lucas EM, Ibáñez-Plágaro FJ, Valle-Folgueral JM, Vázquez-Barquero A. Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome caused by a disconnection between the right pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus and the supplementary motor area. J Neurosurg. 2012 Nov;117(5):844-50. doi: 10.3171/2012.7.JNS12404. Epub 2012 Sep 7. PubMed PMID: 22957529.
4)

Theys T, Van Cauter S, Kho KH, Vijverman AC, Peeters RR, Sunaert S, van Loon J. Neural correlates of recovery from Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome. J Neurol. 2013 Feb;260(2):415-20. doi: 10.1007/s00415-012-6641-0. Epub 2012 Aug 15. PubMed PMID: 22893305.
5)

Campbell E, St George EJ, Livingston A, Littlechild P. Case report of transient acquired Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome following sequential trauma. Br J Neurosurg. 2009 Dec;23(6):625-7. doi: 10.3109/02688690902818841. PubMed PMID: 19922277.
6)

Duffau H, Taillandier L, Gatignol P, Capelle L. The insular lobe and brain plasticity: Lessons from tumor surgery. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2006 Sep;108(6):543-8. Epub 2005 Oct 6. PubMed PMID: 16213653.
7)

Duffau H, Karachi C, Gatignol P, Capelle L. Transient Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome after surgical resection of a right insulo-opercular low-grade glioma: case report. Neurosurgery. 2003 Aug;53(2):426-31; discussion 431. PubMed PMID: 12925262.
8)

Laurent-Vannier A, Fadda G, Laigle P, Dusser A, Leroy-Malherbe V. [Foix-Chavany-Marie syndrome in a child caused by a head trauma]. Rev Neurol (Paris). 1999 May;155(5):387-90. Review. French. PubMed PMID: 10427603.
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