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Cerebral proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrates reversibility of N-acetylaspartate/creatine in gray matter after delayed encephalopathy due to carbon monoxide intoxication: a case report

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INTRODUCTION: Predictive markers for long-term outcome in carbon monoxide-intoxicated patients with late encephalopathy are desired. Here we present the first data demonstrating a full reversibility pattern of specific brain substances measured by cerebral proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in a carbon monoxide-intoxicated victim. This may provide clinicians with important information when estimating patient outcome.

CASE PRESENTATION: We report the case of a 40-year-old Caucasian woman with severe carbon monoxide poisoning who was treated with five repetitive sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a multiplace chamber (100 percent oxygen with a ventilator, 90 minutes exposure to 2.8 atmospheres absolute). Initially, our patient recovered completely after three days of hospitalization, but became encephalopathic after a lucid interval of four weeks. An examination of the brain with cerebral proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed a dramatically decrease in N-acetylaspartate to total creatine ratios and elevated lactate levels in the gray matter. Subsequently, our patient received six additional sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy with only minimal recovery. At six-month follow-up our patient showed significant improvement in cognition and neuromuscular coordination. Extraordinarily, the cerebral proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy measurements at relapse compared to measurements at follow-up (217 days post insult) revealed full reversal of the severe abnormalities in mid-occipital gray matter and partial reversal in white matter.

CONCLUSIONS: The present case indicates that cerebral proton magnetic spectroscopy provides valuable information on brain metabolism in patients presenting with delayed encephalopathy after acute carbon monoxide intoxication. The full reversal of N-acetylaspartate to total creatine ratios in gray matter has, to our knowledge, never been described before and shows that severe, initial measurements may not predict poor long-term patient outcome.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Medical Case Reports
Vol/bind8
Sider (fra-til)211
ISSN1752-1947
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2014

ID: 44545309