Atypical painful stroke presentations: A review

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability. Some patients may present with atypical symptoms. One of the very rare presentations of stroke is initial neurogenic pain. Rare painful presentations include, amongst others, acute trigeminal neuralgia, atypical facial pain, hemi-sensory pain, and episodic pain. Based on the available literature, the pain at presentation may be episodic, transient, or persistent, and it may herald other debilitating stroke symptoms such as hemiparesis. Pain quality is often described as burning; less often as sharp. Patients often have accompanying focal symptoms and findings on neurological examination. However, in several of the reviewed cases, these were discrete or non-existent. In patients with pain located in the trunk and/or extremities, lesions may involve the thalamus, lateral medulla oblongata, insula, or parietal lobe. In patients with atypical facial or orbital pain (including the burning “salt and pepper” sensation), the stroke lesions are typically located in the pons. In this narrative review, we included studies/case series of patients who had pain at the time of onset, shortly before or within 24 h of stroke symptoms (on the day of admission). Cases with pain related to aortic or cervical vessel dissection, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, and CNS vasculitis were excluded. With this review, we aim to summarize the current knowledge on stroke presenting with acute pain.

Read article at journal's website

Related Articles

Responses

Your email address will not be published.