Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome: A Review of the Literature

Intern Med. 2022 Jan 15;61(2):135-141. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.7520-21. Epub 2021 Jul 17.


Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a group of clinical syndromes typically characterized by bilateral reversible vasogenic edema of the subcortical white matter in the parieto-occipital region on neuroimaging that causes a wide variety of acute or subacute neurological symptoms, including headache, mental status alteration, seizures, and visual dysfunction. PRES is classically suspected in patients with severe hypertension, renal failure, autoimmune disorders, eclampsia, or immunosuppressant medications. Frequent neurological evaluations and neuroimaging examinations by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are required for both the diagnosis and assessment of the condition. Early detection of the disease is key for a rapid recovery and good prognosis.

Keywords: bilateral reversible vasogenic edema; neurological symptoms; posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome; reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome* / diagnostic imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Seizures
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • White Matter*