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Hashimoto Encephalopathy: Rare Cause of Stroke in Young Patient

Bonmann, Eckhard MD*; Prumbaum, Manfred MD; Stippich, Christoph MD; Ringleb, Peter MD§; Sliwka, Ulrich MD

doi: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e3181921aef
Clinical Report

Introduction: Hashimoto encephalopathy is a very rare autoimmune disease of unknown etiology. The spectrum of clinical manifestations is wide, and there is no characteristic presentation. Because of the good response to corticosteroid treatment, it is important to confirm the diagnosis as fast as possible.

Case Report: We report an 18-year-old man stroke patient with fever, headache, and neuropsychological symptoms. He presented with clinical, neuroradiologic, and cerebrospinal fluid—findings of cerebral small vessel vasculitis. After extensive investigations and exclusion of other causes of stroke, vasculitis, and collagenosis, we validated the diagnosis of Hashimoto encephalopathy. Treatment with corticosteroids leads to a prompt remission of disease and a good recovery of the patient.

Conclusions: The reported case demonstrates the clinical difficulties in validating a rare cause of stroke in a young patient. Because of the highly effective treatment it is important to consider HE in the differential diagnosis in patients with nonspecific clinical symptoms and MRI findings even when laboratory tests, angiography, and MR-angiography are normal.

From the *Neurologische Praxisgemeinschaft Köln-Rodenkirchen, Köln, Germany; †Department of Internal Medicine V, Evangelisches und Johanniter Klinikum, Dinslaken; Departments of ‡Neuroradiology and §Neurology, University Hospital of Ruprecht Karls University, Heidelberg, Germany; and ¶Department of Neurology, Sana-Klinikum Remscheid, Remscheid, Germany.

Reprints: Eckhard Bonmann, MD, Neurologische Praxisgemeinschaft Köln-Rodenkirchen, Ringstrasse 2b, Köln D-50996, Germany. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.