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Emergency: requires immediate attention
Toxic leukoencephalopathy
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Other Resources UpToDate PubMed
Emergency: requires immediate attention

Toxic leukoencephalopathy

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Contributors: Andrea Wasilewski MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Toxic leukoencephalopathy is structural damage to the cerebral white matter as a result of exposure to a toxic substance. Damage occurs secondary to disruption of central nervous system myelin. Toxic leukoencephalopathy can occur after exposure to multiple agents including cranial radiation, chemotherapeutic agents, immunosuppressive drugs, antifungal agents, alcohol, illicit drugs, and environmental toxins such as carbon monoxide. Patients of any age can be affected after exposure to a leukotoxic agent. Symptoms may be acute and temporally related to a toxic exposure but are often chronic or delayed.

Patients may present with a variety of neurologic symptoms including behavioral or personality changes, memory impairment, and language and cognitive dysfunction. Focal symptoms are an uncommon finding. Due to nonspecific findings, patients may be misdiagnosed with psychiatric disease. Prognosis depends on the particular leukotoxin the patient was exposed to, the duration of exposure, and the degree of injury. While improvement often occurs, recovery is rarely complete.

Codes

ICD10CM:
R90.82 – White matter disease, unspecified

SNOMEDCT:
722602003 – White matter disorder caused by toxin

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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References

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Last Reviewed: 05/01/2019
Last Updated: 05/01/2019
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Emergency: requires immediate attention
Toxic leukoencephalopathy
Print 1 Images
Toxic leukoencephalopathy : Chemical substance abuse, Memory impairment, Mental status alteration, Personality changes, Chemical compound exposure, Therapeutic radiation exposure, Cognitive impairment, Delirium/Confusion
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.