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P15.01 Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome in transplant patients: diagnosis and management

Aydincan Akdur, Turkey

Associate professor, MD.
General Surgery, Transplantation
Baskent University School of medicine


Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome in transplant patients: diagnosis and management

Emre Karakaya1, Lara Kavasoglu1, Aydıncan Akdur1, Hatice Ebru Ayvazoglu Soy1, Gökhan Moray1, Mehmet Haberal1.

1General Surgery, Başkent University, ANKARA, Turkey

Introduction: Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a rare neurotoxic status composed of own brain imaging patterns. Depending on the location of the lesion, is characterized by a wide scale of neurologic symptoms. Although, the main cause of PRES is not fully enlightened, it is shown that, especially in solid organ transplant patients due to calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) toxicity, severe hypertension and any kind of infections are strongly related with PRES.  The current therapy accepted is only supportive care. In this study we aim to evaluate diagnosis and management of PRES in our transplant patients.

Method: From 3 November 1975 to 31 December 2021, we performed 3288 kidney transplant, 701 liver transplant and 142 heart transplants. Among these transplants 381 patient in kidney,334 patient in liver and 70 patients in heart were pediatric. 785 pediatric transplant patients were examined, and PRES was observed in 12 pediatric patients with median age 12 years (5 month - 18 year). 6 (50%) of these patients were male and median BMI is 18,5 (12,4 - 28,9). The radiology report database was analyzed for patients which PRES was cited in brain MR imaging text reports. Cases of PRES were included and searched for demographic values, laboratory values, clinical presentation, immunosuppressive they use, management we made and results.

Results: Among PRES cases, 6 (50%) patients were liver transplant, 4 (33%) were kidney transplant and 2 (17%) were heart transplant patients. %66,5 (n:8) of the patients were using Tacrolimus as immunosuppressant. Causes of PRES were toxicity of Tacrolimus in 3 (25%) patients, hypertension in 4 (33%) patients, sepsis in 2 (16%) patients, hypomagnesemia in 1(8,5%) patient, hyponatremia in 1 (8,5%) patient and cyclosporine toxicity in 1(8,5%) patient. Symptoms of PRES were Seizure in 8 (66,5%) patients, vision change in 3 (25%) patients, status epilepticus in 1 (8,5%) patient  and nausea/ vomiting in 1 (8,5% ) patient. The average time between transplant and the diagnosis of PRES was 23 days (2 - 27 days).  In brain MRI edema (n:5), hemorrhagic lesions (n:4), ischemia (n:1) and brain infarction (n:1) were observed. As medical treatment all patients consulted with pediatric neurology. Patients having hypertension (n:4) are treated with antihypertensives ACEİ combined with calcium canal blockers. Seizure is controlled with hydantoin at early period and levetiracetam (36.9 mg/kg/day) as maintenance treatment. Patients having hypertension are taken to hemodialysis. Also, patients related with tacrolimus toxicity (n:3) were switched to cyclosporine and the patient who had cyclosporine toxicity was switched to tacrolimus. End of the treatment period all patients were discharged successfully.

Conclusion: PRES is a rare diagnosis which is having an unknown etiology and due to that doesn’t have a proven management strategy. When the patient is suspected of PRES, MRI should be performed immediately, in order to avoid complications, achieve a better recovery and treat PRES successfully.

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