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Hypertension with recurrent focal deficits
  1. Apurva Sharma1,
  2. Ayush Agarwal1,
  3. Padma Srivastava1,
  4. Ajay Garg2,
  5. Roopa Rajan1,
  6. Anu Gupta1,
  7. Rohit Bhatia1,
  8. Mamta Bhushan Singh1,
  9. MC Sharma3,
  10. Venugopalan Vishnu1
  1. 1 Neurology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
  2. 2 Neuroradiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
  3. 3 Neuropathology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Venugopalan Vishnu, Neurology, AIIMS, New Delhi 110029, India; vishnuvy16{at}; vishnuvy16{at}

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Clinical scenario

A 42-year-old businessman had a 27-year history of multiple complaints. He had been born of a non-consanguineous marriage, but his siblings had young-onset hypertension. When aged 15 years, he developed an ulcerated skin lesion on the medial right thigh with right foot drop. This was presumptively treated as tuberculosis with corticosteroids and antituberculous therapy; the skin lesion resolved in 1–2 weeks and the foot drop recovered within 6–8 weeks. He stopped antituberculous therapy after 1 month.

When aged 24 years, he developed a left foot drop that improved with oral corticosteroids in 3–4 weeks. However, on corticosteroid withdrawal he developed fever, left foot ulceration and abdominal pain. Biopsy of the skin ulcer was reported as ‘systemic lupus erythematosus-like’. His symptoms resolved with tapering corticosteroids over 4–6 months. He was also diagnosed and treated for hypertension at this time.

When aged 30 years, he developed similar complaints. A rheumatologist prescribed monthly cyclophosphamide for 6 months with symptom resolution. He was then lost to follow-up for 6 years.

When aged 36 years he presented with fever, abdominal and testicular pain, with skin ulcerations in the lower limbs. His viral markers for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C were negative and a CT aortogram was normal. His condition responded well to pulsed corticosteroids and mycophenolate mofetil.

He had further recurrent relapses every 1–2 years and tried a combination of multiple immunosuppressants: mycophenolate, azathioprine and cyclophosphamide.

When aged 40 years, he had another relapse (fever, abdominal pain, left foot drop and weight loss) with significant (22 kg) unintentional weight loss over 2 months. CT scan of abdomen showed a left perirenal haematoma, with splenic and bilateral renal cortical infarcts. CT aortic angiogram showed multiple aneurysms in medium-sized abdominal aortic visceral branches. Chest X-ray and two-dimensional echocardiography were unremarkable. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy identified oesophageal candidiasis, whereas colonoscopy showed multiple …

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  • AS and AA contributed equally.

  • Contributors All contributors of the manuscript have been identified and those who qualified for authorship as per the ICMJE criteria have been given the same.

  • 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.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Neil Scolding, Bristol, UK.

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  • Editors’ commentary
    Phil E M Smith Geraint N Fuller

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