Reversible laminar signal intensity in deep cortical gray matter in T1-weighted images and FLAIR after mild acute hyperammonemic hepatic encephalopathy.
Soporific acute hyperammonemic hepatic encephalopathy (aHE) can induce considerable changes in cerebral white and gray matter. This report describes a patient in the subacute phase of aHE grade I without disturbed consciousness and with reversible fine laminar cortical involvement on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The 59-year-old patient had esophageal varices bleeding due to primary biliary cirrhosis (ammonium blood level: 140 mmoL/L) and presented with sensory Jacksonian seizures, dysarthria, and increased drowsiness and fatigue. MRI revealed patchy hyperintense (T2-weighted, T2w) white-matter lesions and bilateral signal intensities in the striatum (T1w). During a rise of ammonium blood level to 220 mmoL/L, the patient had increased drowsiness, persistent dysarthria and mild temporary hemiparesis without loss of consciousness. Two weeks later, the patient was asymptomatic and blood ammonium level had reverted to normal value. MRI at that time revealed bihemispheric fine laminar subcortical hyperintensities on T2w and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging, and partially on T1w sequences, with no swelling or restricted diffusion; the hyperintensities were fully reversible a month later. Such a distinct cortical signal increase not only on T2w images, but also on T1w, in a patient after a mild form of aHE is a new MR finding.
Department of Neuroradiology, Johann-Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
SourceJournal of neuroradiology. Journal de neuroradiologie 39:5 2012 Dec pg 350-3
Pub Type(s)Journal Article