Resolution of Acute Onset Hemichorea–Hemiballismus After Treatment With Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator

D. Mccollum, K. M. Barrett, S. Silvers, S. B. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Hyperkinetic movement disorders are uncommon after acute ischemic stroke. Since these movement disorders are rarely the initial manifestation of acute cerebral ischemia, their presence may result in diagnostic uncertainty or it may inappropriately delay intravenous thrombolytic therapy for ischemic stroke. Hemichorea–hemiballism (HC-HB) is one of the more frequently encountered hyperkinetic movement disorders occurring in conjunction with stroke. Although HC-HB may result from a stroke mimic, the acute onset should prompt rapid evaluation and consideration for the presence of stroke along with its time-dependent therapies including recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA). In this article, we describe a case of a patient with acute cerebral ischemia presenting clinically with HC-HB, who was given intravenous rtPA therapy despite an initially negative, early diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Follow-up brain MRI performed 24 hours after the initiation of thrombolytic therapy confirmed acute infarction in the contralateral striatum. The patient had near-complete resolution of her HC-HB on discharge and had no complications related to the administration of intravenous rtPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalThe Neurohospitalist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • cerebrovascular disorders
  • chorea
  • clinical specialty
  • dyskinesias
  • imaging
  • movement disorders
  • movement disorders
  • stroke
  • stroke and cerebrovascular disease
  • techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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