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 CASE REPORT
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1421--1423

Lead Encephalopathy with Distinctive Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings


1 Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
2 Department of Neuroimaging and Interventional Radiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
3 Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Seena Vengalil
Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore - 560 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.329588

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Lead poisoning is a multisystem disorder, more commonly affecting children. Occupational exposure, traditional medicines, and contaminated alcohol have been associated with lead encephalopathy in adults. Herein, we report a patient of lead toxicity presenting to the emergency services as acute encephalopathy with symptomatic hyponatremia and chronic recurrent abdominal colic and vomiting. This 50-year-old battery mechanic had multisystem involvement with anemia, basophilic stippling, lead line on the gums, and chronic hypertension. The blood lead level was more than 65 mcg/dL. Computed tomography of the brain showed intracranial calcifications and the MRI brain showed bilateral symmetric involvement of the thalamus, basal ganglia, brainstem, and external capsule. His sensorium improved rapidly after the correction of hyponatremia, however, apathy and psychomotor slowing persisted. This case highlights the importance of recognizing clinical markers and characteristic imaging findings, which can provide clues to an early diagnosis of this otherwise rare clinical condition, and prompt chelation therapy and avoid further lead exposure.






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