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Carbon monoxide poisoning: clinical, neurophysiological, and brain imaging observations in acute disease and follow-up


Five patients (aged 19–52 years) were treated for a midbrain syndrome due to acute carbon monoxide poisoning and had clinical follow-up investigations for up to 18 months. Three patients recovered with minor neurological and neuropsychological deficits and resumed their premorbid life-style. One patient had normal findings, while the fifth remained in a permanent vegetative state. Initial CT of the brain may fail to detect low-density lesions in the globus pallidus. If present, these lesions may either have disappeared, diminished, or remained unchanged at follow-up. Long-term outcome seems to show a closer link to white matter changes, which are at present best investigated by magnetic resonance imaging. The additional value of determining visual evoked responses at repeated follow-up is suggested by the present investigation.

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Vieregge, P., Klostermann, W., Blümm, R.G. et al. Carbon monoxide poisoning: clinical, neurophysiological, and brain imaging observations in acute disease and follow-up. J Neurol 236, 478–481 (1989).

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Key words

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Midbrain syndrome
  • Visual evoked potentials
  • Computed tomography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging