Case Reports| Volume 10, ISSUE 8, P588-591, December 2001

An MRI and neuropathological study of a case of fatal status epilepticus

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      We report a case of fatal status epilepticus of unknown origin resulting in acute neuropathological changes in the hippocampus and claustrum.
      The case history, brain magnetic resonance images, and results of neuropathological study of the whole brain were obtained.
      The subject was a 35 year old male with no significant previous medical history who presented with generalized epileptic seizures progressing to status epilepticus. He died 6 days after developing status epilepticus. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans were performed before and four days after developing status epilepticus. The first scan was normal and the second showed high signal lesions on T2 weighted images in the medial aspects of both temporal lobes and in the right claustrum. Neuropathological studies showed severe neuronal loss in the Sommer section of both hippocampi with early glial reactive changes. Similar changes were seen in the claustrum on both sides. There was no evidence of other causes of brain injury such as infectious encephalitis or global hypoxic—ischaemic change.
      The patient died of status epilepticus for which no underlying cause was found despite extensive investigation. In this case the radiological and pathological changes found bilaterally in the claustrum and hippocampus appear to be the direct result of the status epilepticus.




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