Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Secondary to Hypertensive Encephalopathy Brought on by a MAO Inhibitor: A Case Report

Robert Strother, Hailon Wong, Nathaniel E. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An elderly woman was admitted to the Family Medicine inpatient service for altered mental status after being brought to the emergency room by a concerned neighbor, who had come across the patient speaking incoherently. Initial evaluation was notable for elevated blood pressures, but extensive lab testing and head computed tomographic imaging were within normal limits. However, subsequent magnetic resonance imaging showed white matter changes consistent with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES), a neurologic syndrome characterized by headache, altered mental status, loss of vision, and seizures as well as radiographic findings of posterior cerebral white matter edema. Multiple etiologies of PRES have been described and include hypertensive encephalopathy, immunosuppressant medications, and eclampsia. This case describes an episode of PRES secondary to hypertensive encephalopathy brought about by an inappropriate dose of a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor. The patient had significant improvement in symptoms with removal of the offending agent and control of her blood pressure. While PRES generally has a good prognosis, prompt recognition, and management are important in preventing significant disease morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Keywords

  • MAO inhibitor
  • encephalopathy
  • hypertension
  • medication effect
  • mental status change
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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