Reexpression of Prior Stroke Symptoms in Adults: When is a Mimic a Mimic?

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A “stroke mimic” refers to any clinical condition that causes neurological symptoms clinically indistinguishable from a cerebral lesion that affects a vascular distribution, but is not caused by ischemia. One subtype of stroke mimic, termed stroke reexpression, is a form of mimicry in which previously recovered or improved stroke symptoms recur in the setting of a neurological disturbance (seizure, hypoperfusion state) or a systemic disturbance (toxic, metabolic, infectious). Many reports of stroke reexpression exist in the literature and are well known to clinicians, but there has been no consensus regarding terminology that has been published to date. The purpose of this review is to summarize several examples of stroke reexpression and propose simple, useful criteria for this clinical condition.

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