[Reperfusion syndrome with cerebral vasogenic edema after carotid artery endarterectomy]

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2007 Sep;163(8-9):840-4. doi: 10.1016/s0035-3787(07)91469-1.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Reperfusion (or hyperperfusion) syndrome may be a possible complication of carotid artery endarterectomy or angioplasty.

Observation: We report the case of a 54-year-old man who underwent a right carotid endarterectomy for an asymptomatic carotid stenosis and developed reperfusion syndrome a few days after surgery. The symptoms were marked by a prolonged partial epileptic status and then left hemiplegia lasting several days. Brain MRI with Diffusion sequences was normal, whereas there was a right frontoparietal hypersignal in FLAIR sequences, suggesting the presence of brain vasogenic oedema. Clinical and neuroradiological outcomes were good, confirming the relative good prognosis attributed to vasogenic brain oedema in previous similar publications. This condition may be misdiagnosed as cytotoxic brain oedema, another possible complication of carotid endarterectomy, whose management and prognosis are different.

Conclusion: When a focal neurological deficit or epileptic seizures follow carotid artery endarterectomy, it is important to consider reperfusion syndrome. MRI (with FLAIR and Diffusion sequences) will show a vasogenic brain oedema, with a better prognosis than what can be expected with cytotoxic oedema.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain Edema / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Edema / etiology*
  • Brain Edema / pathology
  • Carotid Stenosis / surgery
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Endarterectomy, Carotid / adverse effects*
  • Hemiplegia / etiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / diagnostic imaging
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology