Ceftriaxone-induced encephalopathy in a patient with multicentric glioma

Surg Neurol Int. 2022 Jul 15;13:303. doi: 10.25259/SNI_483_2022. eCollection 2022.


Background: Ceftriaxone is a commonly used antibiotic in a wide range of local and systemic infections. Encephalopathy is a rare complication of ceftriaxone, often seen in older adults and those with renal insufficiency.

Case description: A 73-year-old lady with prior history of hypertension and dyslipidemia presented with the complaints of slurred speech, gait imbalance, nocturnal vomiting, and progressively worsening headache. A magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed two intracerebral lesions involving the right frontal and temporal lobes, suggestive of multicentric glioma. She underwent craniotomy and excision of these lesions. The biopsy was reported as intra-axial tumors with features suggestive of the WHO Grade IV glioma. Postoperatively, she did not wake up. An electroencephalogram demonstrated triphasic waves suggestive of encephalopathy. The probable diagnosis of ceftriaxone-induced encephalopathy was made after ruling out other causes of delayed awakening after surgery. Ceftriaxone was discontinued and the patient improved within 2 days of withdrawal of ceftriaxone.

Conclusion: Drug-induced encephalopathy should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with delayed awakening after surgery. Discontinuation of the drug leads to the recovery of these patients.

Keywords: Ceftriaxone; Encephalopathy; Glioma; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports