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Epilepsy under my skin?
  1. Mark W L van Geffen,
  2. Hanneke M H Joosten,
  3. Patricia M Stassen
  1. Internal Medicine, Interne Geneeskunde, Maastricht Universitair Medisch Centrum+, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Patricia M Stassen, p.stassen{at}


A 44-year-old male patient was admitted to the hospital for observation after an unwitnessed syncope. Physical examination revealed skin purpura and bilateral tongue haematoma. Laboratory studies were unremarkable. Radiological imaging showed no abnormalities of the vasculature, signs of thrombosis or brain anomalies. Biopsy of a purpuric lesion revealed extravasation of erythrocytes. After excluding several causes of both syncope and purpura, the typical location of these thoracocervicofacial purpura, the tongue haematoma and an elevated prolactin level (which came back later) led to the diagnosis of an epileptic seizure. The patient was referred to the neurology department for follow-up. Within 3 weeks, the purpura were completely resolved, and the patient remained free of seizures during follow-up. In case of an unwitnessed syncope, an epileptic seizure should be carefully considered and thoracocervicofacial purpura can be the pivotal manifestation leading to this diagnosis.

  • emergency medicine
  • epilepsy and seizures
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  • Contributors Drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content: MWLvG, HMHJ and PMS. Final approval of the version published: MWLvG, HMHJ and PMS. Takes responsibility for the integrity of the manuscript: last author, PMS.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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