Significant Neurological Presentations in Commando Trained Personnel

Research Paper Title

Significant Neurological Presentations in Commando Trained Personnel: Case Studies and Consideration of Differential Diagnosis.

Background

A 27-year-old Royal Marine presented to his sickbay following two episodes of sudden onset visual disturbance. A subsequent MRI Scan demonstrated ischaemic changes in the territory of his right posterior cerebral artery. Transthoracic echocardiography was normal but a bubble contrast study was strongly positive indicating the presence of a relatively large patent foramen ovale (PFO). He underwent endovascular closure of his patent foramen ovale and was subsequently upgraded back to full duties.

A 35-year-old Army Sergeant presented with sudden onset collapse, right sided weakness, dysarthria and confusion. He was airlifted to a Host Nation hospital and following a normal CT head underwent thrombolysis in the Emergency Department. This was unsuccessful but a CT guided embolectomy led to complete resolution of symptoms. Subsequent transthoracic echo revealed a PFO. He underwent endovascular closure and has since been returned to full duties.

Discussion

The incidence of PFO is common affecting 27% of the population but the incidence of ischaemic stroke in young adults (aged 15-45 years old) is rare. This maybe linked to the size of the PFOs in symptomatic individuals.

Conclusions

These case reports emphasise the requirement for further investigation of individuals presenting with collapse and persisting neurology. Differential diagnosis and initial management for primary care and pre-hospital clinicians is also reviewed.

Reference

Williams, R.J., Howes, R.J., Chabda, S. & Chalder, A. (2012) Significant Neurological Presentations in Commando Trained Personnel: Case Studies and Consideration of Differential Diagnosis. Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service. 98(2), pp.19-22.

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