Our aim was to investigate the clinical and radiological features of patients with hypoglycemia with focal neurological signs (HFNS). Among 80 consecutive hypoglycemic patients (blood glucose levels less than 50mg/dL), who had been admitted between October 2008 and May 2012, we selected 11 patients (6 men and 5 women; mean age, 73.2 ± 12 years) with focal neurological signs. The mean initial blood glucose level was 27.9 mg/dL (range, 13-39 mg/dL). The most frequent symptom was unilateral motor weakness (n = 9), which was usually accompanied with mild or moderate alteration of consciousness. All patients had improved initial neurological signs within 1h of glucose injection. The initial DWI demonstrated a hyperintense lesion in the contralateral internal capsule with decreased values on the ADC (apparent diffusion coefficient) map in 2 of the patients (18%). The DWI performed one day later shows only faint lesion. The initial DWI in patients with HFNS may display a hyperintense lesion, which was difficult to distinguish from acute cerebral infarction. Hypoglycemia should be considered in cases with DWI showing a disproportionally small lesion in contrast to neurological signs.
Keywords: DWI; Focal neurological signs; Hypoglycemia; Internal capsule; MRI; Stroke mimic.
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