[Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome: experience in 3 cases]

Junichi Shimada, Nobuaki Takeda, Shigeto Yamauchi, Toshio Urushibara, Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Nō to Shinkei, Brain and Nerve 2004, 56 (12): 1036-41
We report 3 cases with reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS) accompanied by eclampsia or hypertensive encephalopathy. RPLS may develop in patients who have eclampsia or hypertensive encephalopathy or who are immunosuppressed. The findings on neuroimaging are characteristic of subcortical edema without infarction. A 27-year-old primigravida developed eclampsia at 37 weeks of gestation. MRI was performed 4 hours after the onset. The FLAIR sequence delineated extensive hyperintense lesions in the temporal and occipital lobe bilaterally. MR angiography(MRA) performed 6 days after the onset of symptoms clearly demonstrated intracranial vasospasm. Follow up MRI and MRA were performed 3 weeks after the onset. The MRI showed slight residual hyperintensity in the occipital lobe. The MRA showed the disappearance of the vasospasm. A 39-year-old woman on the 8th postpartum day presented with thunderclap headache, which led to a search for SAH. She visited our hospital, whose high arterial blood pressure (220/110 mmHg) was observed. Both CT and MRA were normal. MRI revealed abnormalities in the parieto-occipital regions bilaterally. Treatment of hypertension led to resolution of the posterior leukoencephalopathy. A 38-year-old woman on the 11th postpartum day suddenly developed vertigo, visual disturbance and generalized convulsion. MRI was performed 7 days after the onset. The FLAIR sequence delineated extensive hyperintense lesions in the occipital lobe bilaterally. MRA clearly demonstrated diffuse intracranial vasospasm. MRA performed 3 weeks after the onset showed the disappearance of the vasospasm. In conclusion, our experience suggests that the MRI and MRA noninvasively provide valuable findings which are complementary in the diagnosis and follow-up examination of a brain edema and vasospasm in RPLS.

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