Background and Purpose: Cerebrovascular complications are a rare manifestation of pheochromocytoma. We report a case of pheochromocytoma presenting initially with reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy and subsequently a cerebral infarction. Summary of Case: A patient with a prior history of episodic hypertension and reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy presented with headache, palpitations, and weakness of the right leg. A magnetic resonance angiogram revealed narrowing of the basilar and right middle cerebral artery. She was diagnosed as having presumed vasculitis and underwent a conventional cerebral angiogram during which she developed a hypertensive crisis and worsening neurological deficit. Further investigations revealed the presence of a pheochromocytoma, which was subsequently resected. Conclusions: It is important to be cognizant of the possibility of pheochromocytoma in patients presenting with hypertension and cerebrovascular manifestations, as commonly used investigations (e.g. catheter angiography) and treatment modalities (e.g. β-blockers to treat hypertension, corticosteroids to treat suspected vasculitis, etc.) can lead to life threatening complications.
- Cerebral vasospasm
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine