Clinical, imaging and electroencephalographic characterization of three cases of HaNDL syndrome

Cephalalgia. 2018 Jun;38(7):1402-1406. doi: 10.1177/0333102417735846. Epub 2017 Oct 3.


Introduction The syndrome of transient headache and neurological deficits with cerebrospinal fluid lymphocytosis (HaNDL) may mimic stroke when patients present with acute/subacute focal neurological deficits. It would be helpful to identify investigations that assist the neurologist in differentiating between HaNDL and stroke. Case reports We describe three cases that proved to be HaNDL, but were initially considered to be strokes. Hypoperfusion was noted in the CT perfusion (CTP) studies in all three cases, which extended beyond any single cerebral arterial supply. The CTP findings suggested a stroke mimic, and there was no improvement on thrombolysis. MRI failed to show any abnormalities in diffusion and EEGs showed non-epileptiform changes. Lumbar punctures demonstrated a lymphocytic pleocytosis. Conclusion The diagnosis of HaNDL is based on clinical and CSF criteria, but neuroimaging, including CT perfusion, can be helpful in differentiating the clinical syndrome from stroke.

Keywords: CT perfusion; HaNDL; electroencephalogram; lumbar puncture; stroke mimic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Headache / diagnosis*
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytosis / diagnosis*
  • Lymphocytosis / etiology
  • Male
  • Neuroimaging
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Syndrome