Surgically Induced SMART Syndrome: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Patrick R. Maloney, Alejandro Rabinstein, David Daniels, Michael J. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Strokelike migraine attack after radiation therapy is a recently described clinical entity characterized by transient hemispheric dysfunction manifesting as, but not limited to, visuospatial deficits, confusion, hemisensory deficits, hemiparesis, aphasia, seizures, and, most prominently, headache in patients with a history of remote external beam radiation therapy to the brain. The radiographic hallmark on magnetic resonance imaging is the presence of transient, diffuse, unilateral gadolinium enhancement of the cortex with white matter sparing, usually corresponding to the previous radiation field. Case Description We present a case of strokelike migraine attacks after radiation therapy syndrome diagnosed immediately following a craniotomy and temporal lobectomy for recurrent metastatic tumor resection after prior gamma knife radiosurgery and whole-brain radiation therapy. Conclusion SMART syndrome should be considered in the differential diagnosis of postsurgical patients with remote history of cranial irradiation and significant, new transient neurologic deficits not explainable by any other mechanism. It is possible that manipulation of the trigeminal ganglion, or the dura of the Meckel cave, contributed to triggering the manifestations of this syndrome in our patient during the immediate postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240.e7-240.e12
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Radiation
  • SMART syndrome
  • Trigeminovascular system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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