Non-ketotic hyperglycemic chorea-hemiballismus mimicking basal ganglia hemorrhage

Thomas J. Wilson, Khoi D. Than, William R. Stetler, Jason A. Heth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Radiographic findings of hyperglycemic non-ketotic chorea-hemiballismus and basal ganglia hemorrhage can be highly similar. A 58-year-old female presented with a 1-week history of choreiform and ballistic movements of the left arm. Based on CT imaging, the patient was diagnosed with a basal ganglia hemorrhage. After transfer to our institution, further imaging and work-up led to a diagnosis of non-ketotic hyperglycemic chorea-hemiballismus. Aggressive glycemic control was started and the patient's symptoms resolved. Despite its rarity, non-ketotic hyperglycemic chorea-hemiballismus should be included in the differential diagnosis of basal ganglia hyperdensity on CT scan, as it can mimic basal ganglia hemorrhage. Resolution of this clinical entity and implementation of aggressive glycemic control can lead to complete resolution of symptoms. It is important for neurosurgeons to be aware of this clinical entity as prompt treatment often yields good outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1560-1561
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Basal ganglia
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Chorea
  • Hemiballismus
  • Hyperglycemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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