Posthypoxic Leukoencephalopathy

  • Jacob Valk
  • Marjo S. van der Knaap


The usual pathological sequela of hypoxia in the CNS consists of damage to the neurons of the cortex and the subcortical gray matter structures. Selective injury to the cerebral white matter as a consequence of hypoxia-ischemia is less common Posthypoxic leukoencephalopathy (PHL) may occur immediately subsequent to the hypoxic-ischemic event, but there may also be an early phase of improvement from the initial comatous state or from a less serious impairment of consciousness. In these cases improvement is followed several days or weeks later by recurrence of impaired consciousness and other neurological signs. The neurological abnormalities in PHL vary from patient to patient and include spastic paresis of the extremities, a parkinsonian syndrome, choreiform movements, visual failure, myoclonus, seizures, psychosis, and mental deterioration. The condition results in a chronic state of global dementia, a vegetative state, or death, but recovery may also occur.


White Matter Status Epilepticus Ventricular Septum Defect White Matter Lesion Border Zone 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Valk
    • 1
  • Marjo S. van der Knaap
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic Radiology and NeuroradiologyFree University HospitalAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Child NeurologyAcademic HospitalUtrechtThe Netherlands

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