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Acta Neurológica Colombiana

versión impresa ISSN 0120-8748


LOPEZ O., Lina María et al. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy secondary to opioid toxicity. Acta Neurol Colomb. [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.2, pp.108-113. ISSN 0120-8748.

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a major cause for admission to the intensive care unit. This disease can be secondary to multiple causes, of which the most common is post cardiac arrest; however, less common causes, such as poisoning by drugs, as in this case by opioids, which tend to prognosis not necessarily as ominous, should not be ignored. In this paper we present the case of a 31-year-old patient with chronic use of analgesics for the management of chronic low back pain. She went to a hospital and received multiple doses of opioids, triggering respiratory depression. Afterwards, an important worsening of Glasgow coma scales to 4 was documented, which required Intensive care unit and management with mechanical ventilation. The patient was admitted with severe deterioration with decerebrate postures; the performed neuroimaging supported the proposed diagnosis of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and the conducted EEG showed encephalopathic pattern. However, the patient recovered her functionality and subsequent assessments reported only executive dysfunction in neuro psychological tests, which did not have an impact upon her daily life.

Palabras clave : Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy; Opioids; Intensive Care Unit; Prognosis; Executive Dysfunction.

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