Delayed Post-hypoxic Leukoencephalopathy: A Case Series and Review of the Literature.
Cureus. 2018 Apr 15;10(4):e2481
Authors: Katyal N, Narula N, George P, Nattanamai P, Newey CR, Beary JM
Delayed post-hypoxic leukoencephalopathy (DPHL) is a unique clinical entity that presents with cognitive impairment days to weeks after an episode of acute hypoxic brain injury. Frequently hypoxia is unrecognized as a mechanism for clinical decline and extensive workup ensues. We present two cases of DPHL highlighting the neuroimaging findings. In both patients, a cerebral hypoxic event was followed by a recovery phase with subsequent delayed clinical decline. Patient 1 suffered hypoxia from drug-induced respiratory depression and lack of post-operative positive airway pressure (PAP) support. Her neurological exam on follow-up revealed progressive cognitive decline. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain showed bilateral white matter changes involving the centrum semiovale. Patient 2 developed a generalized tonic-clonic seizure during an endobronchial biopsy procedure and was found to have multiple air emboli on computed tomography (CT) head scan. She was initially in a drug-induced coma for her seizures. Electroencephalography (EEG) on day 14 of admission showed changes consistent with diffuse encephalopathy. MRI brain showed bilateral white matter changes particularly at the watershed zones and in the centrum semiovale. DPHL is a rare and under-recognized clinical entity that requires clinical suspicion and detailed evaluation for diagnosis. Neuroimaging studies can provide prognostic information regarding the extent of neurological injury.
PMID: 29922522 [PubMed]