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No To Shinkei. 1997 Aug;49(8):773-82.

[A 76-year-old man with loss of vision and dementia].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Neurology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


We report a 76-year-old man who developed blurred vision and dementia. He was apparently well until April 4, 1990 (70-year-old at that time) when he had a sudden onset of bilateral loss of vision. Corrected vision was 0.1 (right) and 0.09 (left). He was admitted to the ophthalmology service of our hospital on April 9, 1990, and neurological consultation was asked on April 11. Neurologic examination revealed alert and oriented man without dementia. Higher cerebral functions were intact. He had bilateral large visual field defects with loss of vision; he was only able to count the digit number with his right eye and to recognize hand movement with his left eye. Otherwise neurologic examination was unremarkable. General physical examination was also unremarkable; he had no hypertension. Cranial CT scan was normal on April 11; lumber spinal fluid contained 1 cell/microliter, 63 mg/dl of sugar, and 97 mg/dl of protein; myelin basic protein was detected, however, oligoclonal bands were absent. He was treated with methylprednisolone pulse therapy and oral steroid, however, no improvement was noted in his vision. He started to show gaze paresis to left, ideomotor apraxia, agnosia of the body, and dementia. Cranial CT scan on June 11 revealed a low density area in the deep left parietal white matter facing the trigonal area of the lateral ventricle. He was discharged on July 2, 1990. Hasegawa dementia scale was 2/32.5 upon discharge. In the subsequent course, he showed improvement in his mental capacity and Hasegawa dementia scale was 22.5/32.5 in 1991, however, no improvement was noted in his vision. In 1994, he started to show mental decline in that he became disoriented, and showed delusional ideation of self persecution and depersonalization with occasional confusional state. He also showed unsteady gait. Cranial MRI on February 13, 1996 revealed a T2-high signal intensity lesion on each side of the parietal deep white matter more on the left and another T2-high signal intensity lesion in the left pons as well as in the right thalamus. He complained of right hypochondrial pain and was admitted to another hospital on April 22, 1996. He was markedly confused and demented. He continued to show bilateral loss of vision, but no motor palsy was noted. Cranial CT scan on April 23, 1996 revealed diffuse cortical atrophy and ventricular dilatation in addition to the low density areas in both parietal deep white matter. He developed jaundice in the middle of May. Abdominal CT scan revealed multiple low-to iso-density areas in the liver and marked iso-to high-density swelling of the right kidney. The patient expired on June 9th, 1996. The patient was discussed in a neurological CPC and the chief discussant arrived at the conclusion that the patient had had a carcinomatous limbic encephalitis with optic neuropathy and a choleduct carcinoma. Other opinions entertained included acute disseminated encephalomyelitis with optic neuritis, and granulomatous angiitis of the central nervous system. Some participants thought the primary site of the carcinoma was the right kidney with metastasis to the liver. Post mortem examination revealed a mixed type carcinoma in the right kidney with liver metastases. Neuropathologic examination revealed an incomplete softening in the optic chiasm and the left optic nerve, and in the left parieto-occipital areas. (The right hemisphere was frozen for future biochemical assay.) One of the adjacent cortical arteries had an organized thrombus. Other arteries and arterioles also showed sclerotic changes. Some of the leptomeningeal arteries were positive for Congored staining as well as for beta-amyloid immunostaining. Many senile plaques were seen diffusely in the cerebral cortex and neurofibrillary tangles were seen in the CA1 area and the parahippocampal gylus. No cellular infiltrations or demyelinated foci were seen. The neuropathologic features were consistent with circulatory disturbance based on the amyloid angiopa

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