Persistent neurological deficit from iodinated contrast encephalopathy following intracranial aneurysm coiling. A case report and review of the literature

Interv Neuroradiol. 2012 Mar;18(1):33-41. doi: 10.1177/159101991201800105. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


Neurotoxicity from iodinated contrast agents is a known but rare complication of angiography and neurovascular intervention. Neurotoxicity results from contrast penetrating the blood-brain barrier with resultant cerebral oedema and altered neuronal excitability. Clinical effects include encephalopathy, seizures, cortical blindness and focal neurological deficits. Contrast induced encephalopathy is extensively reported as a transient and reversible phenomenon. We describe a patient with a persistent motor deficit due to an encephalopathy from iodinated contrast media administered during cerebral aneurysm coiling. This observation and a review of the literature highlights that contrast-induced encephalopathy may not always have a benign outcome and can cause permanent deficits. This potential harmful effect should be recognised by the angiographer and the interventionalist.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Angiography / adverse effects*
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / etiology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / adverse effects


  • Contrast Media
  • Iodine Radioisotopes