A case of posterior reversible encephalopathy during polyarteritis nodosa vasculitis
Unità Operativa di Neurologia, Presidio Ospedaliero di Saronno Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedale di Circolo di Busto Arsizio, Piazzale Borella 1, Saronno, Italy.Neurological Sciences (Impact Factor: 1.45). 07/2008; 29(3):163-7. DOI: 10.1007/s10072-008-0929-y
Posterior reversible encephalopathy is a distinctive syndrome associated with different diseases and drugs. Disease evolution is frequently favorable with an adequate treatment. Damage typically involves parietal-occipital lobes even if a more anterior diffusion has been described. Here, we report the case of a woman affected by Polyarteritis Nodosa, who suddenly complicated with decreased consciousness and seizures, during an acute hypertensive state. MRI imaging showed increased T2 and FLAIR signal in posterior regions. Her neurological evolution was positive, according to arterial pressure correction, although the systemic vasculitis was still ongoing, hence affecting final prognosis.
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ABSTRACT: Tacrolimus (TAC) is an immunosuppressant drug discovered in 1984 by Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. This drug belongs to the group of calcineurin inhibitors, which has been proven highly effective in preventing acute rejection after transplantation of solid organs. However, neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity are its major adverse effects. Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is the most severe and dramatic consequence of calcineurin inhibitor neurotoxicity. It was initially described by Hinchey et al. in 1996 [N Engl J Med 1996;334:494-450]. Patients typically present with altered mental status, headache, focal neurological deficits, visual disturbances, and seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging is the most sensitive imaging test to detect this. With the more deep-going studies done recently, we have learnt more about this entity. It was noted that this syndrome is frequently reversible, rarely limited to the posterior regions of the brain, and often located in gray matter and cortex as well as in white matter. Therefore, in this review, the focus is on the current understanding of clinical recognition, pathogenesis, neuroimaging and management of TAC-associated PRES after solid organ transplantation.
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