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Anaesth Intensive Care. 2014 Nov;42(6):782-8.

Toxic leukoencephalopathy in the intensive care unit.

Author information

1
Intensive Care Unit, Townsville Hospital, Douglas, Queensland.
2
Department of Neurology, Townsville Hospital, Douglas, Queensland.
3
Department of Radiology, Townsville Hospital, Douglas, Queensland.

Abstract

In this article, we report two cases of acute toxic leukoencephalopathy to highlight this acute clinicoradiological syndrome as an important, although uncommon, consideration in the undifferentiated comatose patient who fails to wake following drug overdose or has unexplained neurology with a history of drug exposure. We then review the current literature and discuss potential differential diagnoses in this setting, along with proposed treatments for this condition. The cases presented demonstrate a more fulminant onset than previously well-defined acute toxic leukoencephalopathy subtypes and highlight the prognostic importance of magnetic resonance imaging in diagnosing a condition from which significant functional recovery seems possible.

KEYWORDS:

coma; drug toxicity; intensive care neurology; toxic leukoencephalopathy

PMID:
25342412
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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