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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2012 Feb;33(2):297-300. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A2766. Epub 2011 Oct 27.

Serum calcium concentration affects signal changes on diffusion-weighted imaging in hypoglycemic encephalopathy.

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1
Department of Neurology, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Abnormal signals in brain DWI may appear in patients with HE. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical condition and various physiologic factors between patients with HE with and without abnormal signal intensity changes on DWI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We retrospectively enrolled patients with HE who underwent brain DWI studies from January 2002 to November 2010. A diagnosis of HE was defined as low serum glucose levels (<50 mg/dL) with alteration of consciousness. Several clinical conditions and physiologic parameters were compared between patients with and without abnormal signals on DWI, including consciousness levels; outcome; body temperature; blood pressure; and serum levels of glucose, calcium, sodium, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine.

RESULTS:

Nine patients with HE were included, and 3 of them (33%) had abnormal signals on brain DWI. There was a trend toward serum calcium concentrations being lower in patients with normal findings on DWI studies compared with patients with abnormal DWI signals (7.6 ± 1.7 versus 9.4 ± 0.7 mg/dL, P = .07). Serum glucose concentration, duration of hypoglycemia, consciousness levels, other physiologic parameters, and clinical outcome did not reveal any differences between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

One-third of patients with HE had abnormal signals on brain DWI, and patients with low serum calcium levels may be less likely to present with abnormal DWI signals.

PMID:
22033722
DOI:
10.3174/ajnr.A2766
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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