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Radiology. 1992 Jul;184(1):117-22.

Delayed encephalopathy after acute carbon monoxide intoxication: MR imaging features and distribution of cerebral white matter lesions.

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1
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Korea.

Abstract

Magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained in 15 patients with delayed encephalopathy after acute carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication were reviewed. Images had been obtained 4-9 weeks after exposure to CO, during the relapse of neuropsychiatric symptoms after initial recovery. Bilateral symmetric confluent high signal intensity in the periventricular white matter and centrum semiovale was seen on long-repetition-time images (n = 15). The high intensity extended into the corpus callosum (n = 11), subcortical U fibers (n = 12), and external (n = 9) and internal (n = 7) capsules. Bilateral diffuse low-intensity signal in the thalamus and putamen on T2-weighted images, suggesting iron deposition, was demonstrated in 10 patients. Bilateral ischemia or necrosis of the globus pallidus was seen in nine patients. In three of four patients with follow-up MR imaging studies, a decrease in extent and signal intensity of white matter lesions accompanied lessening of clinical symptoms. These results suggest that the main pathologic feature of delayed encephalopathy associated with CO intoxication is a reversible demyelinating process of the cerebral white matter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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