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Comment & Response
May 2016

Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome or Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Respiratory Services, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
  • 2currently with Cox Institute, Department of Emergency Medicine, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Kettering, Ohio

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(5):606-607. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.5110

In Reply I appreciate the letter from Nabavizadeh and Vossough regarding the case of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) I reported1 and their suggestion of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) instead of RCVS as the diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for RCVS2 were not fulfilled owing to incompleteness of the clinical presentation and medical history. After a second review of the medical record, it was seen that the patient initially presented to the emergency department for a severe headache after synthetic cannabinoid use. She developed the seizure on the way to the hospital, which resulted in a change in her presenting symptom. This does not clinically change the diagnosis because PRES can present with headache.3 The patient was normotensive on presentation to the emergency department and did not require any antihypertensive treatment during or after hospitalization, which is atypical for PRES but not exclusive.3

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