BACKGROUND: Patients with the kyphoscoliotic type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome have an increased risk of vascular complications such as aortic dissection and perforation. Cerebral ischemia has only rarely been documented.
PATIENT DESCRIPTION: This 13-year-old girl with the kyphoscoliotic type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome experienced a large right middle cerebral artery distribution infarction. Full intravenous heparinization was started in response to presumed arterial dissection. Magnetic resonance imaging studies including magnetic resonance angiography and digital subtraction angiography, however, did not confirm dissection but suggested with cerebral vasculitis extending from the intradural right internal carotid artery to the M2 branches of the middle cerebral artery. Combined steroid and cyclophosphamide therapy was associated with clinical improvement. Two months later she died from hemorrhagic shock caused by a two-sided spontaneous rupture of the aortic artery.
CONCLUSIONS: Cerebral vasculitis should be included in the differential diagnosis of vascular complications in kyphoscoliotic type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.