We retrospectively reviewed clinical and imaging findings in 11 patients with stroke-like migraine attacks after radiation therapy (SMART) syndrome to better understand this disorder previously thought to be reversible. Six men and 5 women had complex bouts of neurologic impairment beginning, on average, 20 years after cerebral irradiation. All had characteristic, unilateral gyriform enhancement on MR imaging that developed within 2-7 days and typically resolved in 2-5 weeks. Unlike prior reports, 45% had incomplete neurologic recovery manifesting as dysphasia, cognitive impairment, or hemiparesis. The remaining 55% recovered completely over an average of 2 months. Three of 11 patients developed cortical laminar necrosis. Brain biopsies in 4 of 11 did not demonstrate a specific pathologic substrate. These additional 11 patients contribute to the understanding of variability in stroke-like migraine attacks after radiation therapy syndrome, which often but not uniformly manifests with headaches and seizures, demonstrates a typical evolution of imaging findings, and may result in permanent neurologic and imaging sequelae.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology