Difficulty in Distinguishing Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome, Hypoxic-Ischemic Insult, and Acute Toxic Leukoencephalopathy in Children

Judith Luckman, Alon Zahavi, Shai Efrati, Gil Gilad, Moshe Snir, Shalom Michowiz, Nitza Goldenberg-Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim This study aims to describe our experience of unique pediatric neurological cases and associated difficulty in differentiating posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) from hypoxic-ischemic insult (HII), and acute toxic leukoencephalopathy (ATL). Methods The study included three children with a clinical picture suggestive of PRES, HII, and ATL of different etiologies who were diagnosed and treated at a tertiary pediatric medical center in 2011 to 2014. Results All patients presented with blindness following seizures with asphyxia/aspiration in a syndromatic child, too-rapid lipid infusion in a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and repeated vomiting in a child with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and malfunction of ventriculoperitoneal shunt. All patients had cortical blindness and high-signal foci in the cortical and subcortical regions on magnetic resonance imaging. All children improved. Conclusions Familiarity with the clinical and radiological characteristics of neurological conditions leading to reversible cortical blindness is essential for diagnosis and management. Distinguishing PRES from HII and ATL can be challenging. Our cases most likely combined these etiologies, with the first patient diagnosed with PRES with HII, the second with PRES with ATL, and the third with focal HII. Given the diversity of the findings and the unclear prognostic significance, studies of the pathophysiology of PRES are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropediatrics
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • acute toxic leukoencephalopathy
  • hypoxic-ischemic insult
  • pediatric visual loss
  • posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome
  • reversible blindness

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