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An Unusual Cause of Neck Pain and Headache in Pregnancy.

Neurohospitalist 2024 January
A previously healthy 21-year-old Caucasian female G1P0 at 32 weeks gestation presented to the ED for an episode of syncope. She also complained of headaches, neck pain, and blurry vision. Physical examination revealed a healthy pregnant female. Neurological examination demonstrated Grade III papilledema but was otherwise unremarkable. CT brain revealed hydrocephalus and intraventricular hemorrhage of unclear etiology MRI of the head was negative for a mass lesion. MRA/MRV of the head was negative, ruling out cavernous sinus thrombosis. Lumbar puncture was bloody but negative for infection. Infectious workup, including HSV, toxoplasmosis, and neurocysticercosis, was negative. An intraventricular drain was placed for hydrocephalus. While in the hospital, she developed sudden left-sided weakness, prompting an emergency C-section. Further workup with CT angio of the brain and neck revealed an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) involving the anterior spinal artery and adjacent venous plexus. Digital subtraction angiography showed a C2-3 pial AVM with a partially thrombosed nidal aneurysm. She was transferred to an outside hospital for embolization. Embolization obliterated the aneurysm, but residual flow remained in the AVM. Blood products are visible on sagittal MRI after embolization. At hospital discharge, her left-sided weakness had resolved, and her neurological examination was normal. The hydrocephalus had resolved.

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