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Hematology/Olfactory seizure and high nk cells


QUESTION: Hi my name is Brenda! I am a 50year old Hispanic woman, since December 29, 2013 I have had 3battles with flu like symptoms, now at the end of January I started having olfactory seizures really bad, they use to last only a few second when I had it last year now they seem to be lasting for hours. I was told a couple of years ago that it could be a tumor that I have on my Basal Ganglia because it is very close to my olfactory nerves.  Now my doctors are putting me thru a battery of test because of my nk cells being so high. I guess they think that I might have a cancerous brain tumor. What do you think?

ANSWER: Hello Brenda,
Warm welcome to you!
Yes there are chances of brain tumor. And to confirm or rule out doctors need to run some tests so that they can decide on mode of treatment. But also since you said you had flu like symptoms, it could be even cerebral/brain infections.

Do you have stuffy nose and runny nose? Do you swim often? Can you describe what exactly you percieve when you have an episode of olfactory seizure?

Thanking you!

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QUESTION: Yes my nose has been both runny and stuffed for 2 months now, I figured it was leftover symptoms from my cold/flu.

As far as the olfactory seizure I could be anywhere and I will smell a foul smell like flatulence and/or electrical fire. It last
Sometime 5 minutes or hours.  I can taste it and feel it in my throat causing me to clear my throat frequently, but I thought  that the clearing could be caused from the runny nose going down my throat.  The smell is so horrible and intense that it consumes my brain making it hard to think let alone relax.  The only time I don't smell it it's when I'm asleep.

I feel my "peekaboo" headache the minute I wake up.  "Peekaboo headache" - I can sense the headache is there but it has not come full force enough for me to take anything for it.   I have strange headaches that are dull but there mainly in the frontal and mid brain. Sometimes it feels like my brain is to big for my skull.  I can feel like something (blood maybe running thru it) Strange!! I know!!

I've been extremely exhausted lately  I can sleep 12+hours and still have to force myself out of bed.  I have no energy and the feeling of malaise is exhausting.  I was told I have low level anemia and was talking Trigels f forte and they made me so sick I had to stop taking them, but I took them for 3 weeks and I figured I should've regain some of my energy but I didn't.

ANSWER: Brenda,
This could be a case of meningioma (olfactory groove) or olfactory neuroblastoma. All your symptoms and smell, taste perceived by you indicate towards that. Complete lab investigation is recommended. If you have any latest lab reports please send them.

Thanking you!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Thank you so much for your prompt response and for your helpful info.
These are my labs any info will truly help.

CBC with Diff - Jan 2014
Neutrophil Absolute 1.20.          Hematocrit 33.00.         Metabolic panel within normal rate
Neutrophils 26.10.          Hemoglobin 11.40.        Ferritin 8
Lymphocytes, absolute 3.10.       MHC.30.40.          Iron 36
Lymphocytes 3.10.          MCHC 34.50.          Iron Saturation 10
Mids, absolute .40.          MCV 87.90.          B12. 401
MIDS 8.30.          MPV 9.50.          Folate 12.6
WBC 4.70.          Platelets 318.00.          
Erythrocytes 3.75.          RDW 14.8

In Jan 2013 - Comp a Panel:Leukemia/lymphoma - Flow Cymetry
Neutropenia Unspecified
Analysis of leukocyte population shows:  granulocytes 28.6%, monocytes 9.0%, lymphocytes 62.4%, blasts <0.5%,
B Cells 9.9%, T cells 42.7%, NK cells 8.8%.  NK cells 15% in 2012.

Phenotype Chart: all normal.
CD4:CD8 ratio 3.0

I went to the dr. Today and she was clueless!  Very young and had a caught in the headlights look when I said "olfactory Seizure". So I had to school her on what they are. Anyway, she did a Neuro test and then looked in my throat. She referred me to a neurologist for OS and gave me Augmentin for a "Goopy throat" that she think us strep throat. The nurse stuck a giant Qtip in my throat for a sample of the Goop : /   So now I gave to wait and see.  Thanks so much again for ur helpful info.
Take care and God bless. Brenda G.

Sorry I was out of station. Clearly you are Iron deficient by looking at your reports. All other tests are normal. Though you have unexplained neutropenia, which is why they tested you for leukemia(Right now none point towards it, but often neutropenia is associated with bone marrow). But neutropenia can result due to many infections also or due to some drugs you are taking  and sometimes it can be idiopathic. Do you take any medicines regularly? If you have received the test results of throat culture then please send.

Thanking you!


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Dr.Shrinidhi Kulkarni


I can answer all questions related to hematology. RBC, WBC, Platelet and blood forming organs etc and related questions. hematology also includes blood proteins, hemoglobin and disorders related to clotting abnormalities. So questions about all aspects of hematology are welcome!


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