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Ann Neurol. 1995 Nov;38(5):825-8.

Neurological sequelae of cyanide intoxication--the patterns of clinical, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography findings.

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Department of Neurology, University of Cologne, Germany.


We report 2 patients with neurological sequelae of oral cyanide intoxication who were evaluated clinically and neuropsychologically, with high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and one of them with positron emission tomography. The clinical syndrome was characterized by extrapyramidal motor and cerebellar symptoms such as bradykinesia, hypomimia, slowed speech, anteropulsion, and marked retropulsion, but little tremor. The sensory and pyramidal motor systems were normal or relatively spared. On neuropsychological testing the intellectual capacity and memory functions were normal, whereas the speed of motor reaction and verbal fluency were reduced. Magnetic resonance imaging showed damage of the globus pallidus, putamen, substantia nigra, subthalamic nucleus, and cerebellum in both patients, whereas the sensory-motor cortex and hippocampus were relatively spared. 18F-6-Fluoro-dopa positron emission tomography revealed a symmetrical reduction of striatal dopa uptake by 42% on average that was similar in the putamen and caudate. 18F-2-Fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography showed a regional reduction of the glucose metabolism in the posterior putamen and temporo-parieto-occipital and cerebellar cortex.

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