Takayasu Arteritis Mistaken for Epilepsy: A Case Presenting With Convulsive Syncope

Pedro Pallangyo, Nsajigwa Misidai, Naairah R. Hemed, Happiness J. Swai, Zabella Mkojera, Smita Bhalia, Frederick Lyimo, Jalack Millinga, Salma A. Wibonela, Mohamed Janabi


Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by granulomatous vasculitis that predominantly manifests as panaortitis. This occlusive thromboaortopathy lacks pathognomonic features often resulting in a diagnostic dilemma leading to its under-recognition, misdiagnosis and delayed management. Although neurological manifestations are not uncommon in TA, convulsive syncope as an initial clinical presentation is extremely rare. We report a case of convulsive syncope as a manifesting symptom of TA. A 17-year-old male patient of African origin was referred to us from an upcountry regional hospital with a diagnosis of medically intractable epilepsy for cardiovascular review. He presented with a 28-week history of generalized tonic-clonic seizures followed by loss of consciousness. He denied history of recurrent headaches, fever, visual disturbances, arthralgias, claudication or unintentional weight loss. Physical examination revealed feeble left-sided brachial and radial pulses, elevated blood pressure, differences in blood pressure between arms and left-sided carotid and vertebral bruits. Computed tomography angiogram of his thoracic and abdominal aorta revealed changes suggestive of a diffuse arteritis. Additionally, magnetic resonance angiogram of the brain revealed total occlusion of the left common carotid, left internal carotid, left external carotid and left vertebral arteries. Based on the physical examination and radiological findings, we reached a diagnosis of TA. He was prescribed dexamethasone, methotrexate, acetylsalicylic acid and amlodipine. He had a remarkable recovery and was seizure-free for the last 5 months after discharge. TA may manifest with convulsive syncope mimicking epilepsy. Despite its rarity, presentations of this nature continue to challenge clinicians resulting in delayed diagnosis with irreversible life-threatening consequences to patients. In view of this, physicians should strive to take detailed history and perform thorough physical examination so as to timely pick the characteristic signs of TA especially in patients presenting with unanticipated symptoms.

J Med Cases. 2020;11(2):37-40
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jmc3424


Takayasu arteritis; Occlusive thromboaortopathy; Granulomatous panarteritis; Chronic granulomatous vasculitis; Large vessel vasculitis; Pulseless disease; Convulsive syncope; Takayasu mimicking epilepsy

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Journal of Medical Cases, monthly, ISSN 1923-4155 (print), 1923-4163 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website: www.journalmc.org   editorial contact: editor@journalmc.org
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.