• migrainous syndrome with CSF pleocytosis;
  • Tc 99m HMPAO brain SPECT

Brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) findings are described in four adult patients with the transient syndrome of headache with neurological deficits and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis. Focal deficits consisted of right-sided hemisensory changes with or without motor dysphasia or dysarthric speech (n=4) and confusional episodes (n=1). All patients had a CSF pleocytosis (with a mean of 309 cells/mm 3 on the first spinal tap; range 75 to 590) and an elevated total protein (mean 130.5 mg/dL; range 70 to 193). The EEG showed excessive focal slowing (n=2). A technetium Tc 99m hexamethyl propylenamine oxime (HMPAO) brain SPECT was performed during a symptom-free period, within 8 and 25 days after the onset of symptoms (n=4). Three patients showed a decreased tracer uptake in the anterior left hemisphere, topographically consistent with the neurological deficits and EEG slowing. One patient showed no abnormalities. These findings indicate either focally impaired neuronal metabolism or hypoperfusion in regional cerebral blood flow, which could bear some relationship with the clinical features. The possibility that SPECT abnormalities may represent an epiphenomenon was also considered.