How to HaNDL This Case?

Filipa Silva, Rita Ferraz, Nelia Neves, Paulo Andrade, Claudia Carvalho, Antonio Sarmento

Abstract


Headache and neurological deficits with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lymphocytosis (HaNDL) is a self-limited, benign neurological entity that may constitute a diagnosis dilemma since it can mimic a variety of conditions including aseptic meningitis, meningoencephalitis, migraine with aura and stroke. We report a case of a 31-year-old Caucasian man admitted at the emergency department for sudden onset of dysarthria and paresthesias in the right upper limb, after 2 weeks of complaints of headache associated with mild nausea. After extensive blood investigation, CSF study, electroencephalogram and neuroimaging, central nervous system infections, autoimmune and vascular diseases were excluded. CSF study revealed lymphocytic pleocytosis, normal glucose and slightly elevated protein concentration. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a diffuse leptomeningeal enhancement, a decreased and delayed perfusion to the entire left hemisphere. The patient improved with supportive and symptomatic management. Two days after discharge, he developed a similar clinical picture and recovered completely 30 minutes after admission. His repeated lumbar puncture (LP) showed progressive improvement as expected due to the clinical resolution and MRI did not reveal any of the previous changes. Given the presentation (clinical picture, imaging and CSF studies), the subsequent similar and self-limited episode and having excluded other causes, a final diagnosis of HaNDL was made. HaNDL is one of the most frequent stroke mimics and probably not as rare as commonly thought. It has a good prognosis since this monophasic, self-limiting condition runs its course usually within a few months from onset, without any neurological sequelae.




J Med Cases. 2016;7(3):84-86
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jmc2419w


Keywords


HaNDL; Headache; Stroke; Lymphocytic pleocytosis; Cerebrospinal fluid; Cerebral blood flow; MRI

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