Reversible findings of restricted diffusion in 5-fluorouracil neurotoxicity

Australas Radiol. 2006 Aug;50(4):364-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1673.2006.01602.x.


A 35-year-old woman presented with neurotoxicity correlated to an i.v. regimen of 5-fluorouracil as episodes of acute confusional state and abnormalities of symmetrically restricted diffusion in the periventricular white matter and corpus callosum. On discontinuing the medication, the areas of severely restricted diffusion had entirely resolved, with minimal residual T2 signal abnormality. In this case, immediate discontinuation of the chemotherapeutic agent apparently reversed the patient's symptoms and findings on MRI. The scant information available in the published literature regarding this phenomenon is reviewed with regard to 5-fluorouracil.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects*
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Anus Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Corpus Callosum
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Fluorouracil / adverse effects*
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / diagnosis*


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Fluorouracil