Neurocritical Care

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 542–546

Asymmetric Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Complicating Hemodynamic Augmentation for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage-Associated Cerebral Vasospasm

  • Barbara Voetsch
  • Nicholas Tarlov
  • Thanh N. Nguyen
  • Christina DeFusco
  • Glenn D. Barest
  • Alexander Norbash
  • Deborah M. Green
  • Joseph D. Burns
Practical Pearl

Abstract

Background

Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a rare complication of hemodynamic augmentation for subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)-associated vasospasm. The roles of hyperperfusion and hypoperfusion in the genesis of PRES remain uncertain.

Methods

Case report.

Results

We admitted a 35-year-old woman with Hunt & Hess grade II SAH secondary to rupture of a right middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysm. This was surgically clipped. Beginning on hospital day 3, she developed recurrent symptomatic vasospasm of the right MCA despite hemodynamic augmentation to a MAP as high as 130 mmHg and endovascular therapy. On hospital day 7, after 36 h of sustained MAP 120–130 mmHg, her level of arousal progressively declined, culminating in stupor and two generalized tonic–clonic seizures. MRI showed widespread, yet markedly asymmetric changes consistent with PRES largely sparing the right MCA territory. After the MAP was decreased to 85–100 mmHg, she had no further seizures. 2 days later she was fully alert with mild left hemiparesis.

Conclusions

PRES is a rare complication of hemodynamic augmentation that should be considered in the differential diagnosis of delayed neurological decline in patients with aneurysmal SAH-associated cerebral vasospasm. The markedly asymmetric distribution of PRES lesions with sparing of the territory affected by vasospasm supports the hypothesis that hyperperfusion underlies the pathophysiology of this disorder.

Keywords

Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome Subarachnoid hemorrhage Aneurysm Vasospasm Hyperperfusion 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Voetsch
    • 1
  • Nicholas Tarlov
    • 2
  • Thanh N. Nguyen
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christina DeFusco
    • 2
  • Glenn D. Barest
    • 4
  • Alexander Norbash
    • 4
  • Deborah M. Green
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joseph D. Burns
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Lahey Clinic Medical CenterTufts University School of MedicineBurlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Boston Medical CenterBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Neurosurgery, Boston Medical CenterBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, Boston Medical CenterBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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