Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy in Sepsis-Associated Encephalopathy: Experience from a Single Center.

Orhun G., Sencer S., Tüzün E., Bebek N., Ergin Özcan P., Barburoğlu M., ...More

Neurocritical care, vol.36, pp.372-386, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12028-021-01433-8
  • Journal Name: Neurocritical care
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.372-386
  • Keywords: Encephalopathy, Electroencephalography, Neuroimaging, Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, Sepsis, INTENSIVE-CARE, ORGAN DYSFUNCTION/FAILURE, CLINICAL-OUTCOMES, BRAIN-DAMAGE, SOFA SCORE, SPECTRUM, PATHOPHYSIOLOGY, PATHOGENESIS, RELIABILITY, ACTIVATION
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background Sepsis-associated encephalopathy (SAE) is frequently encountered in sepsis and is often accompanied by neuroimaging findings indicating ischemia, hemorrhage, and edema. Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) has been vastly underrecognized in previously reported cohorts of patients with sepsis and SAE. Our aim was to determine the prevalence and distinguishing clinical, neuroimaging, and electroencephalography features of PRES in SAE. Methods In this prospective observational study, patients with radiologically identified PRES were selected from a consecutively enrolled cohort of 156 patients with SAE and assessed for neurological outcome using the extended Glasgow Outcome Scale for 12 months. Patients with SAE and PRES and other types of brain lesions were compared in terms of clinical and diagnostic workup features. Results Fourteen of 156 patients (8.9%) were determined to be radiologically compatible with PRES, whereas 48 patients displayed other types of acute brain lesions. Patients with PRES often showed lesions in atypical regions, including frontal lobes, the corpus callosum, and the basal ganglia. Source of infection was mostly gram-negative bacteria originating from pneumonia or intraabdominal infections. Patients with PRES were not different from other patients with SAE with brain lesions in terms of features of sepsis and neurological outcome. However, patients with PRES showed increased prevalence of seizures and intraabdominal source of infection. Conclusions PRES is highly prevalent in SAE, often encompasses unusual brain regions, and usually presents with generalized seizures. Patients with SAE and PRES do not appear to have distinguishing clinical and diagnostic workup features. However, generalized seizures may serve as warning signs for presence of PRES in patients with SAE.