Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

An acute severe heat stroke patient showing abnormal diffuse high intensity of the cerebellar cortex in diffusion weighted image: A case report

Yusuke Fujioka, M.D.1)2), Keizo Yasui, M.D.1), Yasuhiro Hasegawa, M.D.1), Akira Takahashi, M.D.3) and Gen Sobue, M.D.2)

1)Department of Neurology, Nagoya Daini Red Cross Hospital
2)Department of Neurology, Nagoya University
3)Department of Neurology, Tokai Central Hospital

A 47-year-old man was admitted to the hospital because of general convulsion, loss of consciousness and hyperthermia. A diagnosis of acute heat stroke was made clinically and neuroradiologically. As the consciousness level ameliorated, he developed severe abulia and mutism, then cerebellar ataxic syndrome (viz. truncal ataxia, hypermetria, ataxic speech and nystagmus). An MRI (diffusion weighted image; DWI) disclosed abnormal diffuse high signal intensity of the cerebellar cortex with reduced apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). Two months later after the onset, truncal ataxia and dysarthria significantly improved, while dysmetria of the extremities rather worsened. At that time, the abnormal signal intensity of the cerebellar cortex disappeared, and the cerebellum became atrophic. The cerebellar blood flow was significantly decreased on brain SPECT (99mTc-ECD). The abnormal DWI signal intensity of the cerebellar cortex in the present patient may represent the cytotoxic edema of Purkinje cells resulting from heat stroke-related hyperthermia. It is essential to repeat MRI examination for cerebellar pathology and to obtain better insight into sequelae in patients with acute heat stroke.
Protirelin tartrate seemed to be valid for improvement of abulia in the present patient. Further study is indicated.
Full Text of this Article in PDF (945K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 49: 634|640, 2009)
key words: heat stroke, diffusion weighted image, cerebellar cortex, cytotoxic edema, protirelin tartrate

(Received: 18-Feb-09)