Wegener's Granulomatosis Presenting as Wallenberg Syndrome: A Case Report

Maziar Emamikhah, Farzad Sina, Mahisa Mokhtari, Fatemeh Shirani, Mohammadreza Asadipanah
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: the Official Journal of National Stroke Association 2019, 28 (8): e107-e109
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), formerly known as Wegener's granulomatosis, a vasculitis affecting small and medium sized vessels usually affects the upper and lower respiratory tract, the kidneys, and the eyes. Neurologic manifestation in central nervous system (CNS) is less frequent than the peripheral and usually is in form of stroke. Few cases of lateral medullary ischemic stroke (Wallenberg syndrome) due to GPA have been reported. A 41 year-old female, presented with acute vertigo, nausea/vomiting, hiccups, dysphagia. In physical examination she had a saddled nose, horner syndrome, soft palate paralysis, crossed hypoesthesia of face, and limbs and hemi-ataxia. Brain magnetic imaging revealed a left lateral medullary infarction and sinusitis confirmed by paranasal Sinus CT scans. Chest CT showed a cavitary mass. Laboratory findings were remarkable for anemia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein. Cytoplasmic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)/anti-proteinase 3 was positive. Diagnosis of GPA was established and treatment was started. During 6-month follow-up improvement was satisfying and no relapses occurred. Medullary infarct is reported in few GPA patients, especially at presentation. Definite diagnosis is based on tissue biopsy. Although in context of extra CNS involvement and positive ANCA diagnosis can be made confidently. Treatment of choice in CNS involvement is not clear, corticosteroids and immunosuppressives seem effective. CNS involvement, especially stroke may present GPA or accompany extra CNS symptoms. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential.

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