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Stroke. 1988 Sep;19(9):1159-70.

Reversible cerebral segmental vasoconstriction.

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Neurology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


Vasoconstriction is not recognized as a cause of cerebrovascular disease except in the vasospasm seen following subarachnoid hemorrhage and possibly in migraine. However, we found four patients to have transient, fully reversible vasoconstriction and dilatation prominently involving arteries around the circle of Willis. All four patients were evaluated for severe headaches and fluctuating or recurring motor or sensory deficits. No cause for the clinical syndromes and angiographic abnormalities was found. Similar patients are reported in the literature under various nosologies. This newly recognized clinical-angiographic syndrome should be differentiated from other known causes of vessel constriction and dilatation; the precipitants of reversible vasoconstriction may then be better defined.

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