Metronidazole-induced encephalopathy

J Neurol Sci. 2004 Sep 15;224(1-2):107-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2004.06.012.


We report the clinical, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging findings of two patients of diffuse encephalopathy associated with the use of metronidazole. Both patients showed characteristic abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and recovered incompletely after the discontinuation of metronidazole. We also suggest that MRI with DWI may be useful in the diagnosis of metronidazole-induced encephalopathy, and that they have a role in the prediction of prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents / toxicity
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Metronidazole / toxicity*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Wernicke Encephalopathy / chemically induced*
  • Wernicke Encephalopathy / diagnosis
  • Wernicke Encephalopathy / pathology
  • Wernicke Encephalopathy / physiopathology


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Metronidazole