Imaging findings in hypertensive encephalopathy.

C Morgado, L Antunes, A C Lima, L B Gomes, J G Campos


Hypertensive encephalopathy is a neurologic syndrome caused by a marked and rapid rise of blood pressure above baseline levels. Efficacy of current anti-hypertensive drugs greatly diminished the frequency of this situation in which diagnosis is essentially based on clinical parameters. This can justify the few papers found in radiologic literature. Nevertheless it is sometimes important to exclude ischemic or hemorrhagic complications or establish a differential diagnosis with other neuropathologic conditions. Then a striking imagiologic picture of focal or diffuse reversible edema of cerebral white matter can be found. We present three clinical cases of hypertensive encephalopathy. Imagiologic findings are reviewed and correlated with the pathophysiologic basis of the disease.

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