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Stroke mimic in an acute rehabilitation unit patient with associated hypomagnesaemia


This case report describes a patient who presented with acute left facial numbness and eyelid weakness prompting work-up, which demonstrated low suspicion for new stroke but revealed hypomagnesaemia as a potential differential diagnosis. Patient initially presented to the emergency department with left upper extremity weakness and was diagnosed with right basal ganglia infarction. Two weeks after transfer to the acute rehabilitation unit, patient suddenly complained of left facial numbness and eyelid weakness. However, brain imaging did not show any new acute infarct. Instead, laboratory results showed hypomagnesaemia at 1.50 mg/dL. Patient was therefore treated with intravenous magnesium leading to resolution of his symptoms. Up to 30% of acute stroke presentations are stroke mimics. Although hypomagnesaemia is less frequently seen as a mimic, its neuromuscular manifestations may present with similar symptoms. Patients will always benefit from a comprehensive evaluation for stroke symptoms, but it is important to consider the mimics as well.

  • stroke
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • medical management

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