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Intracranial tumours that mimic transient cerebral ischaemia: lessons from a large multicentre trial. The UK TIA Study Group.

Abstract

The clinical records of patients withdrawn from the UK-TIA Aspirin Trial after identification of a brain tumour were reviewed. Certain features of transient focal neurological dysfunction were associated with an underlying brain tumour rather than transient ischaemia: a) focal jerking or shaking; b) pure sensory phenomena; c) loss of consciousness; d) isolated aphasia or speech arrest. In several patients the misdiagnosis occurred because these features were interpreted as the sequelae of previous ischaemic damage. When a transient focal neurological attack is associated with any of these features, a brain tumour must be considered. If patients later develop epilepsy the diagnosis of cerebral ischaemia should be reviewed.

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