Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

Portal-systemic encephalopathy with bilateral thalamic and internal capsule lesions using diffusion-weighted MRI in a super-aged patient

Michiaki Matsuda, M.D.1), Shinpei Takesako, M.D.2), Mitsuhiro Nakazaki, M.D., Ph.D.2), Toru Nandate, M.D.3) and Fujio Umehara, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, Nanpuh Hospital
2)Department of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Nanpuh Hospital
3)Department of Radiology, Nanpuh Hospital

We describe the case of a 90-year-old woman who was hospitalized in July 2016 and subsequently experienced a sudden decline in consciousness level resulting in a state of deep coma. Involuntary movements were not observed, and bilateral Babinski signs were inconclusive. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) of the brain showed bilateral hyperintensity in the thalamus and internal capsule, laboratory testing detected high levels of plasma ammonia, and an electroencephalogram showed delta waves and triphasic waves predominantly in the frontal lobe. Based on these results, treatment for hepatic encephalopathy was administered, which led to an improvement in consciousness level, a decrease in plasma ammonia levels, and a normalization in the DWI scan. Abdominal computed tomography scan showed no abnormality in the liver, but revealed an abnormal blood vessel leading from the ileocolic vein to the inferior vena cava; the patient was diagnosed with portal-systemic encephalopathy. In deep coma patients, acute encephalopathy with hyperammonemia is important for differential diagnosis when DWI shows high-density legions in the thalamus and internal capsule.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (797K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 57: 759|763, 2017)
key words: portal-systemic encephalopathy, hyperammonemia, thalamus and capsula interna, diffusion-weighted MRI, super-aged patient

(Received: 6-Jun-17)