Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome: A Review

Can Assoc Radiol J. 2017 May;68(2):147-153. doi: 10.1016/j.carj.2016.08.005. Epub 2017 Jan 26.


Radiologists may be the first to suggest the diagnosis of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). PRES is associated with many diverse clinical entities, the most common of which are eclampsia, hypertension, and immunosuppressive treatment. Radiologists should be aware of the spectrum of imaging findings in PRES. When promptly recognized and treated, the symptoms and radiological abnormalities can be completely reversed. When unrecognized, patients can progress to ischemia, massive infarction, and death. In this review, we present an overview of the unique signs observed on computed tomography and magnetic resonance images in PRES that can help in the early diagnosis and treatment that is highly effective in this syndrome.

Keywords: Eclampsia; Hypertension; Immunosuppression; Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*