Cases reported "Unconsciousness"

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1/11. Positive skin tests in late reactions to radiographic contrast media.

    In the last few years delayed reactions several hours after the injection of radiographic and contrast materials (PRC) have been described with increasing frequency. The authors report two observations on patients with delayed reactions in whom intradermoreactions (IDR) and patch tests to a series of ionic and non ionic PRC were studied. After angiography by the venous route in patient n degree 1 a biphasic reaction with an immediate reaction (dyspnea, loss of consciousness) and delayed macro-papular rash appeared, whilst patient n degree 2 developed a generalised sensation of heat, persistent pain at the site of injection immediately and a generalised macro-papular reaction after 24 hours. The skin tests revealed positive delayed reactions of 24 hours and 48 hours by IDR and patch tests to only some PRC with common chains in their structures. The positive skin tests are in favour of immunological reactions and may help in diagnosis of allergy in the patients.
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2/11. Early rebleeding from intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: report of 20 cases and review of the literature.

    OBJECT: In this study the authors sought to estimate the frequency, seriousness, and delay of rebleeding in a homogeneous series of 20 patients whom they treated between May 1987 and May 1997 for arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) that were revealed by intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). The natural history of intracranial dural AVFs remains obscure. In many studies attempts have been made to evaluate the risk of spontaneous hemorrhage, especially as a function of the pattern of venous drainage: a higher occurrence of bleeding was reported in AVFs with retrograde cortical venous drainage, with an overall estimated rate of 1.8% per year in the largest series in the literature. However, very few studies have been designed to establish the risk of rebleeding, an omission that the authors seek to remedy. methods: Presenting symptoms in the 20 patients (17 men and three women, mean age 54 years) were acute headache in 12 patients (60%), acute neurological deficit in eight (40%), loss of consciousness in five (25%), and generalized seizures in one (5%). Results of the clinical examination were normal in five patients and demonstrated a neurological deficit in 12 and coma in three. Computerized tomography scanning revealed intracranial bleeding in all cases (15 intraparenchymal hematomas, three subarachnoid hemorrhages, and two subdural hematomas). A diagnosis of AVF was made with the aid of angiographic studies in 19 patients, whereas it was a perioperative discovery in the remaining patient. There were 12 Type III and eight Type IV AVFs according to the revised classification of Djindjian and Merland, which meant that all AVFs in this study had retrograde cortical venous drainage. The mean duration between the first hemorrhage and treatment was 20 days. Seven patients (35%) presented with acute worsening during this delay due to radiologically proven early rebleeding. Treatment consisted of surgery alone in 10 patients, combined embolization and surgery in eight, embolization only in one, and stereotactic radiosurgery in one. Three patients died, one worsened, and in 16 (80%) neurological status improved, with 15 of 16 AVFs totally occluded on repeated angiographic studies (median follow up 10 months). CONCLUSIONS: The authors found that AVFs with retrograde cortical venous drainage present a high risk of early rebleeding (35% within 2 weeks after the first hemorrhage), with graver consequences than the first hemorrhage. They therefore advocate complete and early treatment in all cases of AVF with cortical venous drainage revealed by an ICH.
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3/11. Distinct behavioral and EEG topographic correlates of loss of consciousness in absences.

    PURPOSE: To describe the behavioral and EEG topographic correlates of absences with 3-Hz generalized spike-waves and partitioned impairment of consciousness. methods: Two adult women had so-called "phantom" absences, characterized by brief and mild impairments of consciousness that were previously inconspicuous to both patient and physician. Neuropsychological examination was performed under video-EEG monitoring during absence status. EEG topographic mapping of spike-wave discharges was obtained in the two cases. RESULTS: Only mild attentional and executive disturbances were observed during absence status despite prolonged discharges. Spike-wave bursts were associated with selective impairment in the initiation of response and self-generated action, whereas short-term storage of external information during discharges was fully preserved. This is consistent with a predominant involvement of frontomesial cortex demonstrated by topographic mapping of spike-wave discharges in the two cases. By contrast, in two other patients with typical absences and a complete lack of retention for information given during the discharges, topographic mapping found a more lateral frontal involvement by spike-wave activity. CONCLUSIONS: Different types of absence seizures may impair distinct components of conscious behavior. A predominant involvement of frontomesial thalamocortical circuitry may underlie an "inconspicuous" disorder of consciousness as seen in phantom absences with selective loss of initiation and goal-oriented behavior, whereas involvement of more lateral frontal areas in typical absences may additionally disrupt working memory processes.
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keywords = wave
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4/11. CT scans essential after posttraumatic loss of consciousness.

    The frequency of "talk and deteriorate" in the emergency department (ED), subsequent deterioration of patients with seemingly "mild" head injury at the time of presentation, is summarized. Among the 1,073 patients with minor head injury treated in the last 5 years, five patients (0.5%) deteriorated in the ED. All of the five patients had experienced transient loss of consciousness (LOC) before presentation. Deterioration had occurred during treatment of trivial associated injuries in four-fifths of the cases. Computed tomography (CT) scans revealed four acute epidural hematomas and one cerebellar contusion. Retrospectively, immediate brain CT shortly after their arrival may have revealed the presence of traumatic intracranial hematomas before deterioration. Although routine use of CT scans in patients with mild head injury has been controversial, the authors conclude that CT scans should be taken if patients have experienced transient LOC to prevent or reduce the occurrence of deterioration in ED.
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5/11. Benign occipital epilepsy mimicking a catastrophic intracranial event.

    OBJECTIVE: To describe the rare, dramatic, presentation of benign occipital epilepsy. methods: We describe three children who presented to the pediatric emergency department from 1992 to 1996 with a clinical picture of catastrophic intracranial event. RESULTS: The main signs and symptoms were loss of consciousness in all patients, apnea in two, hemiclonus in two, general hypertonicity in two, eye deviation in two, fixed dilated pupils in one, and decorticate rigidity in two. All underwent emergency intubation, brain scan, and lumbar puncture, and all were treated with antibiotics, in addition to antiviral drugs in two. Two patients were also treated for suspected increased intracranial pressure. Two patients recovered within a few hours and one within 24 hours of admission without any residual neurologic deficit. Electroencephalograms, done within 48 hours after the event, revealed the classic pattern of occipital epilepsy in two patients and bilateral occipital slow wave in one. A 3- to 5-year clinical and electroencephalographic follow-up supported the diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Benign occipital epilepsy in children can mimic a catastrophic intracranial event. electroencephalography, performed early in the Pediatric intensive care Unit, may avoid or shorten unnecessary and aggressive treatments such as hyperventilation, diuretic agents, and prolonged antiviral therapy.
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ranking = 19.703403555951
keywords = wave
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6/11. unconsciousness, automatisms, and myoclonic jerks with diffuse rhythmic 9-Hz discharges.

    A 25-year-old man presented with seizures characterized by unconsciousness, automatic behavior, and myoclonic jerks lasting 0.5 to 8 sec. Videotape analysis of 300 simultaneously recorded electroencephalographic and clinical attacks revealed 8- to 9-Hz 150 to 200 muV sharp waves beginning in both medial temporal areas during eyelid flutters. When discharges spread diffusely on both sides and lasted 2 to 3 sec, 20 degrees forward flexion of the head, unconsciousness, pupil dilation, and staring became evident. Asymmetrical myoclonic jerks invariably appeared. When paroxysms were greater than 3 sec, automatisms and tonic posturing occurred. The electroencephalographic and clinical seizures appeared during the awake and relaxed states, i.e., with normal alpha rhythm. They were suppressed during physical and mental activities and during sleep, i.e., in the absence of alpha rhythm. Our studies suggest that these seizures associated with diffuse electroencephalographic alpha-like activities are subcortical in origin and should be tested in their responsivity to alpha suppressants and inducers.
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keywords = wave
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7/11. Macroscopic T wave alternans in long qt syndrome.

    A 6 year old girl was admitted with recurrent episodes of loss of consciousness. ECG showed prolonged QT interval and macroscopic T Wave alternans. Identification of this ECG pattern is important since it can lead to potentially lethal arrhythmias.
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8/11. Electrocardiographical case. A man found unconscious.

    A 25-year-old man was brought to the emergency room after being found unconscious. electrocardiography (ECG) showed changes classical of tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) poisoning. These included sinus tachycardia, QTc prolongation, QRS complex widening, right axis deviation and positive R waves in lead aVR. This unique ECG highlights the importance of lead aVR, which often tends to be ignored. Treatment is started based on ECG findings.
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ranking = 19.703403555951
keywords = wave
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9/11. Tonic status epilepticus: an unusual presentation of unresponsiveness.

    We report an unusual cause of unresponsiveness in a 73-year-old woman seen in the emergency department. Extensive evaluation, including an emergency EEG that demonstrated rhythmic, high-voltage spike-and-wave discharges characteristic of convulsive activity, confirmed the diagnosis of generalized tonic status epilepticus. The patient's persistent subclinical seizures terminated after the IV administration of diazepam. Varying presentations of generalized tonic status epilepticus have been described in the neurology literature, with EEG confirmation of this diagnosis. review of the emergency medicine literature does not describe a similar presentation of altered mental status in the adult population. This case illustrates one necessary role for ED EEG in the identification of occult status epilepticus causing altered mental status.
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ranking = 19.703403555951
keywords = wave
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10/11. Unusual 'spike-wave stupor' in a patient with manic-depressive psychosis treated with amitriptyline.

    'Spike-wave stupor' was observed in a 58-year-old male patient with manic-depressive psychosis. Almost continuous atypical spike-wave activity was seen in conjunction with a stuporous episode with stereotyped automatism. Intravenous diazepam ended both the electroencephalographic epileptiform discharges and the clinical stupor. Before and during this episode the patient was treated with an average-dose amitriptyline monotherapy. There was no family history of epileptic seizures. The patient had had electroconvulsive therapy. The history suggests that the analeptic property of amitriptyline induced the 'spike-wave stupor' in this patient.
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