Cerebral hemorrhage due to posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome associated with autonomic dysreflexia in a spinal cord injury patient

Tae Yamashita, Hisaya Hiramatsu, Naoto Sakai, Hiroki Namba
Neurologia Medico-chirurgica 2012, 52 (9): 640-3
A 37-year-old man with C4-5 spinal cord injury (SCI) presented with abnormally high blood pressure after vesicocutaneous catheter exchange and was treated with antihypertensive agents. Two weeks later, he developed headache and visual disturbance, and presented with fluctuating blood pressure. Multiple subcortical hemorrhages in the left occipital and right frontal lobes occurred on the next day, and he died of increased intracranial pressure 3 weeks later. Based on the symptoms and computed tomography findings, the retrospective diagnosis was posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) due to autonomic dysreflexia (AD). AD occurs frequently in patients with quadriplegia and high paraplegia by distention of the bladder and bowel. PRES secondary to AD is very rare, but we must always be aware of this life-threatening complication in SCI patients.

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