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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep

Clin Case Rep



Postpartum reversible cerebral vasoconstriction with cortical subarachnoid hemorrhage and posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome concomitant with vertebral artery dissection diagnosed by MRI MSDE method: A case report and review of literature.


Headache is one of the most common symptoms encountered during the postpartum period. The cause may be unknown, or the following illnesses are possible: cervical artery dissection (CAD), reversible posterior cerebral encephalopathy syndrome (PRES), and reversible cerebral vasoconstrictor syndrome (RCVS). It is suggested that they are interrelated and share a similar mechanism such as small vessel endothelial dysfunction, deficiencies in self-regulation, and decreased sympathetic innervation of the posterior circulation. However, there are few reports of neuroradiological findings. We experienced a rare case of multiple postpartum vascular disease occurring at the same time. A 38-year-old woman suddenly developed thunderclap headache after giving birth. She was clear and had no neuropathy. Computed tomography revealed subarachnoid hemorrhage, including the cortical surface of the frontal lobe. Magnetic resonance image fluid-attenuated inversion recovery revealed high-intensity area in the bilateral basal ganglia and right occipital cortex. Angiography showed "string sausage" and extracranial left vertebral artery stenosis, but no aneurysm. Based on the clinical course and neuroradiological findings, we diagnosed her as postpartum vascular disease including CAD, PRES, RCVS, and cortical subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Three-dimensional black blood T1-weighted images using a motion-sensitized driven equilibrium three-dimensional turbo spin echo (MSDE) sequencing method revealed an intramural hematoma consistent with the extracranial vertebral artery. After 3 months, MSDE lost its abnormal signal. Our case was rare in that multiple phenomena of postpartum vascular disease occurred at the same time. In particular, we could reveal that this speculation was reversible in the MRI MSDE sequencing.