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Dural arteriovenous fistula presenting with stroke-like symptoms and regional cerebral hyperperfusion: a case report.

BMC Neurology 2023 May 5
BACKGROUND: Non-hemorrhagic focal neurological deficit is one of the clinical manifestations of intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVF). When symptoms appear suddenly, it is difficult to distinguish it from ischemic stroke in certain circumstances, which might easily lead to misdiagnosis. Here, we report a rare case of DAVF with sudden onset sensory aphasia mimicking hyperacute stroke but presented with unexpected regional hyperperfusion on the site corresponding to its symptoms.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 76-year-old male with histories of atrial fibrillation and hypertension was admitted to the emergency department due to sudden sensory aphasia. The diagnosis of ischemic stroke was made based on clinical experience after non-contrast CT excluding hemorrhage. As in the absence of clear contraindication, the patient received intravenous thrombolysis. On the cerebral CT perfusion, the left temporal lobe, where the sensory speech center is located, was manifested as regional hyperperfusion. Thrombolysis was subsequently halted, but scheduled cranial imaging indicated hemorrhagic transformation. According to the radiological hint from cranial MRI, the patient was suspected of having DAVF, which was finally confirmed by cerebral digital subtraction angiography.

CONCLUSION: When DAVF is presented as sudden onset focal neurological deficit, cranial CT perfusion at an early stage might reveal an abnormal hyperperfusion pattern. Clinicians should be aware of the diagnostic possibility of DAVF in this situation and double-review the CT angiography image to reduce missed diagnoses.

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