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Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) and infection: a systematic review of the literature

  • Sergio RacchiusaEmail author
  • Enricomaria Mormina
  • Antonietta Ax
  • Olimpia Musumeci
  • Marcello Longo
  • Francesca Granata
Review Article
  • 57 Downloads

Abstract

Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is an encephalopathy characterized by a rapid onset of symptoms including headache, seizures, confusion, blurred vision, and nausea associated with a typical magnetic resonance imaging appearance of reversible subcortical vasogenic edema prominent and not exclusive of parieto-occipital lobes. Vasogenic edema is caused by a blood-brain barrier leak induced by endothelial damage or a severe arterial hypertension exceeding the limits of cerebral blood flow autoregulation. Although the exact pathophysiological mechanism is still unclear, frequent conditions that may induce PRES include severe hypertension, eclampsia/pre-eclampsia, acute kidney diseases and failure, immunosuppressive therapy, solid organ, or bone marrow transplantation. Conversely to other conditions, which may induce PRES, the link between severe infection or sepsis and PRES, often associated with gram-positive bacteria, is still poorly understood and less well known. Clinicians from multiple disciplines, such as neurologists and internists, may encounter during their profession patients with severe infection or sepsis and should consider the possible association between PRES and these conditions. We systematically reviewed the literature about this association in order to provide a helpful clinical insight of such complex pathophysiological mechanism, highlighting the importance of recognizing PRES in such a complex clinical scenario.

Keywords

PRES Infection Sepsis Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was not necessary because the present study consists of a literature revision.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences and Morphological and Functional ImagingUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and experimental MedicineUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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