BACKGROUND: Fulminant inflammatory demyelination is a possible presentation of inflammatory demyelinating disorders, thus representing a potential stroke mimic especially in younger patients.
AIMS OF THE STUDY: To describe clinical and diagnostic pitfalls in a case of fulminant inflammatory demyelination presenting with stroke-like symptoms in an elderly patient.
METHODS: Case report and case-based review of the literature.
RESULTS: A 67-year-old woman, who accessed the emergency room as suspect stroke for hyperacute onset of rapidly worsening speech impairment and drowsiness, was later diagnosed with a huge brain inflammatory demyelination. Clinical, laboratory, and neuroimaging tests did not allow to put a more specific diagnosis. Due to the rapidly deteriorating course, she received immunosuppression with benefit.
CONCLUSION: This report is meant to highlight the diagnostic challenges connected with fulminant inflammatory demyelination, which sometime can resemble a stroke-in evolution and appear clinically unfitting for inclusion in any specific pathological entities within the broad-spectrum of inflammatory demyelinating disorders.