Large Acute Cerebral Hemorrhage Presenting With Pure Alexia

Academic Article


  • Alexia (the acquired inability to read) is an uncommon presenting complaint in the emergency department (ED). It is usually associated with a lesion in the brain located within the dominant hemisphere near the parieto-occipital junction, with some involvement of the splenium of the corpus callosum. Our review of the literature revealed multiple distinct causes for the finding of alexia, and a majority of the cases uncovered also involved agraphia (the acquired inability to write) and frequently visual field defects. We present the case of an otherwise healthy 35-year-old white man who arrived at our ED with the chief complaint of having difficulty reading. He was, however, able to write, and he exhibited no defects in his visual fields on gross testing in our ED. The patient was found to have a large, acute, intraparenchymal hemorrhage in the right posterior/inferior parietal cortex, very near the occipital lobe. We present this case, followed by a brief discussion, to heighten awareness of the complaint of alexia with or without agraphia as a possible presenting symptom of intracranial hemorrhage, or ischemic cerebrovascular accident. © 2007 American College of Emergency Physicians.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Thomas JJ; Sanford JM
  • Start Page

  • 428
  • End Page

  • 430
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 4