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Acta Neuropathol. 1995;90(1):107-11.

Acquired hepatocerebral degeneration in a liver transplant recipient.

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  • 1Department of Pathology Neuropathology, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


A 47-year-old-man lapsed into coma 12 h after liver transplantation, and remained comatose until death 38 days later. Prior to transplantation he had repeated episodes of hepatic encephalopathy, but no fixed neurological signs. Autopsy revealed typical features of acquired hepatocerebral degeneration with diffuse but patchy pseudolaminar cortical necrosis, variable amount of neuronal loss in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and other areas, and proliferation of Alzheimer type II glia. In addition, there was central pontine and extensive extrapontine myelinolysis involving the lateral and medical geniculate bodies, the thalamus, internal capsule, fornix, mamillothalamic tract, white matter bundles in the caudate and pallidum, the oculomotor nuclei and the foliar white matter of the cerebellum. The distinction between myelinolytic lesions and lesions due to hepatocerebral degeneration was not always clear. Although neurological complications and brain lesions are rather common after liver transplantation, there have been no reports of acquired hepatocerebral degeneration in liver transplant recipients. Our data lend support to the idea that a single prolonged comatose episode, due to hepatic dysfunction, may induce permanent parenchymal brain damage.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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