Linezolid-induced posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome

Arch Neurol. 2007 May;64(5):746-8. doi: 10.1001/archneur.64.5.746.


Objective: To describe a 71-year-old woman who developed clinical and neuroradiological features of posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome with a compromised blood-brain barrier after 5 days of intravenous linezolid therapy for an infected hip prosthesis.

Design: Case report.

Setting: Academic research.

Main outcome measures: Posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome was documented using serial cranial magnetic resonance imaging, and the blood-brain barrier disturbance was demonstrated by contrast enhancement of a lesion and by cerebrospinal fluid analysis.

Results: Other causes of posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome, such as renal failure, severe hypertension, inflammatory syndromes, and infectious diseases of the central nervous system, were excluded during hospitalization. After discontinuation of linezolid therapy, the patient's condition improved rapidly.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first report of likely linezolid-induced posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome with an altered blood-brain barrier after short-term intravenous therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / adverse effects*
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / adverse effects*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / drug effects
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiopathology
  • Brain Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertensive Encephalopathy / chemically induced
  • Hypertensive Encephalopathy / pathology
  • Infections / drug therapy
  • Linezolid
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Oxazolidinones / adverse effects*


  • Acetamides
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Oxazolidinones
  • Linezolid