BMJ Case Reports 2009; doi:10.1136/bcr.07.2008.0514
  • Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect

Rapid improvement of diffusion-weighted imaging abnormalities after glucose infusion in hypoglycaemic coma

  1. J Maruya,
  2. H Endoh,
  3. H Watanabe,
  4. H Motoyama,
  5. H Abe
  1. Department of Neurosurgery, Cardio-Neuro Vascular Center, Tachikawa General Hospital, Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan
  1. jmaruya{at}
  • Published 23 January 2009


Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) may detect hyperintense lesions in patients with transient hypoglycaemia-induced hemiparesis or coma, which are completely reversible after glucose infusion.13 In vivo animal studies have documented the visualisation of such hypoglycaemia-induced changes of signal intensity and the reversal by glucose intake in detail.4 However, the time necessary for hyperintense lesions on DWI to disappear after glucose infusion in humans is still unclear. A 54 year old woman presented comatose with brain stem signs and severe hypoglycaemia. DWI demonstrated hyperintense lesions in the corpus callosum and internal capsules. She was treated with IV glucose. These lesions had resolved significantly on imaging 2 hours later and completely resolved on repeat imaging 2 days later. This report documents the time course of recovery of neurological lesions induced by hypoglycaemia after treatment with IV glucose.


  • Competing interests: none.

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