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Neurology. 1992 Jan;42(1):157-62.

'Spectacular shrinking deficit': rapid recovery from a major hemispheric syndrome by migration of an embolus.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, National Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan.


We studied the clinical features of a major hemispheric stroke syndrome with rapid recovery ("spectacular shrinking deficit" [SSD]) compared with stroke patients with the same major initial manifestations but without rapid recovery (non-SSD). There were 118 patients with an initial major hemispheric syndrome; 14 patients (12%) had SSD. All but one SSD patient met criteria for cardiogenic brain embolism. Angiographic examination within 24 hours after stroke onset demonstrated that the occlusion sites in SSD differed from those in non-SSD and suggested that rapid embolus migration had occurred in all SSD patients but in only five of 39 non-SSD. Infarcts in SSD were smaller and often scattered over the cortices and deeper structures. Hemorrhagic transformation was less frequent in SSD. In patients with a potential cardiac source of emboli, SSD was more likely to occur in nondiabetic men less than 60 years of age.

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