Moyamoya syndrome associated with cocaine abuse

Case report

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The authors report the case of a 30-year-old woman who was a long-term intranasal cocaine abuser and who presented with transient ischemic attacks and multiple cerebral infarctions that were associated with moyamoya syndrome. The authors suggest that, because of its sympathomimetic effects, chronic cocaine use may promote intracranial arterial stenosis, distal ischemia, and subsequent formation of moyamoya-like vessels. The patient has remained clinically stable with no new episodes of stroke 6 years after undergoing “pial synangiosis” (modified encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis) to revascularize both hemispheres. Cocaine abuse may lead to moyamoya syndrome and may represent a chronic effect on the cerebral vasculature.

The authors report the case of a 30-year-old woman who was a long-term intranasal cocaine abuser and who presented with transient ischemic attacks and multiple cerebral infarctions that were associated with moyamoya syndrome. The authors suggest that, because of its sympathomimetic effects, chronic cocaine use may promote intracranial arterial stenosis, distal ischemia, and subsequent formation of moyamoya-like vessels. The patient has remained clinically stable with no new episodes of stroke 6 years after undergoing “pial synangiosis” (modified encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis) to revascularize both hemispheres. Cocaine abuse may lead to moyamoya syndrome and may represent a chronic effect on the cerebral vasculature.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Marc S. Schwartz, M.D., Division of Neurosurgery, MC-61, Albany Medical College, 47 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, New York 12208.
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