Focal neurological deficit in acute anemia: Case reports and review of the literature


Introduction: Although anemia is not regarded as an usual vascular risk factor for stroke, it is one of the potential mechanism by which the brain does not receive adequate oxygenation. Moreover, the relationship between drop of hemoglobin and acute focal neurological deficits is not clear. We report two patients with cerebral infarction due to acute anemia. Case Reports: Case 1 was a 73-year-old man who complained an episode of loss of consciousness followed by right hemiparesis and dysarthria after few hours. The day after admission he presented melena caused by a duodenal ulcer bleeding. The hemoglobin dropped from 11.3 g/dl to5.6 g/dl in 24 hours. Areas of acute infarctions were evident at diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of the brain. Case 2 was a 77-year-old man with a transient episode of aphasia, right lower limb paresis and mental confusion twelve hours after an intervention of PTA and stenting of the left internal carotid artery. Hemoglobin was11.8 g/dl before intervention and9 g/dl 48 hours later. DWI showed bilateral and widespread acute infarcts. Conclusion: Anemia has to be considered as a potential factor in determining or worsening cerebral infarction, especially in patients with carotid or intracranial stenosis, high cerebrovascular lesions load or insufficient collateral supply. Acute or severe anemia may negatively impact the cerebral blood flow and decrease oxygen-carrying capacity, promote rapid deterioration of ischemic penumbra. Brain DWI and treatment of the underlying etiology of acute anemia are crucial in early identification and recovery of cerebral infarctions.

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Giuffrida, S. , Carpinteri, G. , Modica, D. , Pennisi, M. , Catalano, A. , Bella, R. , Pennisi, G. , Cornelius, C. and Lanza, G. (2013) Focal neurological deficit in acute anemia: Case reports and review of the literature. World Journal of Neuroscience, 3, 53-56. doi: 10.4236/wjns.2013.32007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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