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Arch Neurol. 2002 May;59(5):851-4.

Transient visuospatial disorder from angiographic contrast.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S First Avenue, Maywood, IL 60153, USA. mmerchu@lumc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The blood-brain barrier may be permeable under the clinical settings of uncontrolled hypertension, renal insufficiency, immunosuppressive drugs, and intravascular radiographic contrast. Some reversible neurological complications after angiography are caused by cortical penetration of contrast media detected on brain computed tomographic (CT) scans.

OBJECTIVES:

To describe the first report of a transient visuospatial disorder having elements of Balint syndrome, and caused by angiographic contrast penetration of the bilateral parieto-occipital cortex; and to review cases published between 1980 and 2001 of cortical contrast penetration, documented by CT.

RESULTS:

Simultanagnosia, optic ataxia, and ocular apraxia occurred in a 74-year-old woman who received nonionic contrast media during a failed renal angioplasty. Contrast noted in the bilateral parieto-occipital cortex on the initial CT scan disappeared after 4 days with clinical resolution.

CONCLUSIONS:

Angiographic contrast tends to breach the blood-brain barrier of the vertebrobasilar circulation, penetrating the occipital cortex and leading to transient, localizable syndromes of cortical blindness or abnormal visuospatial processing.

PMID:
12020271
DOI:
10.1001/archneur.59.5.851
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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