Methotrexate induced leucoencephalopathy: A stroke mimic

Tushar D Gosavi, Mohammed Tauqeer Ahmad, Lai-Heng Lee, Shih-Hui Lim
Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology 2013, 16 (3): 418-21
With increasing usage of thrombolysis in the treatment of acute ischemic strokes within 4.5- hour window, it is becoming more important to recognize stroke mimics. Though the incidence of stroke mimics being thrombolysed is less than 3%, it is essential to diagnose them so as to avoid wrong thrombolytic treatment which carries potential complications of bleeding. We describe the case of a 17 year old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, who developed stroke like episodes on two consecutive challenges with a chemotherapeutic regime which included intravenous and intrathecal methotrexate. She had MRI changes consistent with acute ischemic stroke on both occasions. Her deficits recovered completely and spontaneously, as did the MRI changes. She did not have any further episodes when methotrexate was excluded from the chemotherapeutic regime.


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