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Focal neuronal loss, reversible subcortical focal T2 hypointensity in seizures with a nonketotic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state

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Neuroimaging in seizures associated with nonketotic hyperglycemia (NKH) is considered normal. We report magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) abnormalities in four patients with NKH and seizures.


We prospectively evaluated clinical and radiological abnormalities in four patients with NKH during the period March 2004 to December 2005.


All patients presented with seizures, either simple or complex partial seizures or epilepsia partialis continua. Two of them had transient hemianopia. MRI showed subcortical T2 hypointensity in the occipital white matter and in or around the central sulcus (two patients each), T2 hyperintensity of the overlying cortex (two patients), focal overlying cortical enhancement (three patients) and bilateral striatal hyperintensity (one patient). Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) performed in three patients showed restricted diffusion. The ictal semiology and electroencephalographic (EEG) findings correlated with the MRI abnormalities. On clinical recovery, the subcortical T2 hypointensity and striatal hyperintensity reversed in all patients. The initial cortical change evolved to FLAIR hyperintensity suggestive of focal cortical gliosis. The radiological differential diagnosis considered initially included encephalitis, malignancy and hemorrhagic infarct rendering a diagnostic dilemma.


We identified subcortical T2 hypointensity rather than hyperintensity as a characteristic feature of seizures associated with NKH. Only very few similar reports exist in literature. Reversible bilateral striatal T2 hyperintensity in NKH has not been reported to the best of our knowledge.

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We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Sanjeev V. Thomas or C. Kesavadas.

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Raghavendra, S., Ashalatha, R., Thomas, S.V. et al. Focal neuronal loss, reversible subcortical focal T2 hypointensity in seizures with a nonketotic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state. Neuroradiology 49, 299–305 (2007).

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