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Primary Angiitis of the CNS Follow-up

  • Author: Mazen Noufal, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
 
Updated: Oct 24, 2014
 

Further Outpatient Care

See the list below:

  • When initially abnormal, brain MRI and CSF examination can be used with clinical findings to evaluate patient’s response to treatment.
  • Patients taking cyclophosphamide should be evaluated periodically for signs of drug toxicity. CBC should be performed every 2 weeks. The dose should be reduced or the drug should be temporarily held in case of leucopenia (WBC < 4000) or absolute neutropenia (neutrophils < 2000).
  • Patients, especially elderly patients, taking steroids should be given vitamin D and calcium supplements for bone mineral loss, and H2 blockers or proton-pump inhibitors for peptic ulcer disease. Blood glucose should also be monitored closely to detect iatrogenic diabetes.
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Further Inpatient Care

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  • Other comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and heart diseases should be treated appropriately.
  • Antiplatelet aggregation agents should be given to patients with ischemic lesions, unless contraindicated.
  • Confusion, agitation, seizures, headache, nausea, and vomiting should be treated symptomatically.
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Complications

Complications for primary angiitis of the CNS are nonspecific. Patients who are immobile due to neurologic deficits are at higher risk for pneumonia, decubitus ulcers, and deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Complications of steroids and immunosuppressants are mentioned above in Further Outpatient Care.

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Prognosis

Prognosis of primary CNS angiitis is usually guarded, even with appropriate therapy. Prognosis is good in benign angiopathy of the CNS and postpartum CNS angiopathy, but these diagnoses are usually confirmed only in retrospect.

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Patient Education

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  • Patients should be educated about the chronic nature of the disease, and about the potential toxic side effects of steroids and immunosuppressants.
  • Patients should also be educated about the importance of controlling other cerebrovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and smoking.
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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Mazen Noufal, MD Neurologist, Baptist Health Medical Center

Mazen Noufal, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

James W Schmidley, MD Professor of Neurology, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

James W Schmidley, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Neurology, American Heart Association, American Neurological Association, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Received stipend from Oakstone medical publishing for review panel membership.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Helmi L Lutsep, MD Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Neurology, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine; Associate Director, OHSU Stroke Center

Helmi L Lutsep, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Stroke Association

Disclosure: Medscape Neurology Editorial Advisory Board for: Stroke Adjudication Committee, CREST2.

Additional Contributors

Christopher Luzzio, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

Christopher Luzzio, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Lateral right internal carotid angiogram shows beading of anterior cerebral arteries (arrowheads) and beading (straight arrows), segmental dilatation (curved arrow), and narrowing of middle cerebral arteries (open arrow).
Low power view of inflamed vessel in the subarachnoid space shows fibrinoid necrosis (pink areas) superiorly.
Higher power view of small inflamed vessel in the medulla, with fibrinoid necrosis in the wall and chronic transmural inflammation.
(a) T1-weighted left parasagittal MRI showing hypointense lesions in the cortical and subcortical white matter of the left superior temporal gyrus and frontal and frontoparietal operculum with sulcal obliteration. (b) The postgadolinium MRI at this level showing nodular parenchymal and linear pial enhancement.
(a) T2-weighted axial MRI showing hyperintense lesions in the lentiform nuclei, head of the caudate nuclei and frontoparietal subcortical white matter. (b) On T1-weighted (postgadolinium) axial image, the lentiform nuclei and head of caudate nuclei are heterogeneously hypointense, while subcortical white matter lesions are isointense. Linear areas of pial enhancement are seen bilaterally.
(a) T2-weighted axial MRI showing large, well-defined hyperintense lesions in the left frontal and parietal lobes. (b) Postgadolinium T1-weighted axial MRI showing nodular parenchymal and cortical-pial enhancement of the lesion. A follow up (after 3 mo) T2-weighted axial (c) and postgadolinium (d) T1-weighted axial MRIs showing significant reduction of the lesion size and nodular enhancing areas.
 
 
 
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