Case Report| Volume 24, ISSUE 8, e191-e195, August 2015

Immunosuppressive Drugs, an Emerging Cause of Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome: Case Series


      Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a well-recognized complication of hypertensive encephalopathy. Recently, pre-eclampsia, connective tissue disorders, and immunosuppressive drugs have been reported to be the etiologies of this rare syndrome.


      We evaluated 9 cases of PRES whose diagnosis were confirmed based on clinical and radiologic evidence between July 2011 and December 2013 in a tertiary center, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran, Iran.


      Immunosuppressive drugs, especially cyclosporine, and hypertension were the main precipitating factors. In this study, seizure was the most common clinical presentation (100%), whereas other common clinical presentations were confusion (78%), visual loss (67%), and headaches (67%). With conservative management and elimination of predisposing factor, the patients improved gradually except for 2 cases who experienced prolonged recovery period because of delayed diagnosis.


      With timely diagnosis, PRES generally has a good prognosis with complete recovery. However, in missed conditions, it could be associated with catastrophic burden especially in organ transplantation after a prolonged time spending to find matched donors or in chronic immunosuppressive conditions. Thereupon, physicians should be aware of clinical and radiologic manifestations of this preventable but potentially disabling syndrome.

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