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CASE REPORT
Resolution of neurological deficits secondary to spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage and posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) in a patient with hepatitis C-associated cryoglobulinaemia: a role for plasmapheresis

Summary

Essential mixed cryoglobulinaemia or type II cryoglobulinaemia is an important extrahepatic manifestation of chronic hepatitis C. Cryoglobulinaemia results in the deposition of immune complexes in small or medium-sized blood vessels leading to palpable purpura, arthralgia, renal disease and peripheral neuropathy. Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a distinct phenomenon characterised by vasogenic oedema in the posterior circulation of brain. Cryoglobulinaemic vasculitis leading to spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage and PRES syndrome is rarely reported in the medical literature. In this report, we present an unusual case of spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage and PRES secondary to hepatitis C-associated cryoglobulinaemia presenting as right dense hemiplegia. Prompt institution of plasmapheresis resulted in successful resolution of symptoms in our patient, followed by full neurological recovery. To the best of our knowledge, this case describes the first successful use of plasmapheresis in alleviating neurological complications resulting from cryoglobulinaemic vasculitis and PRES secondary to chronic hepatitis C.

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