Few outcome data are available about posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). We studied 90-day functional outcomes and their determinants in patients with severe PRES.
70 patients with severe PRES admitted to 24 ICUs in 2001–2010 were included in a retrospective cohort study. The main outcome measure was a Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) of 5 (good recovery) on day 90.
Consciousness impairment was the most common clinical sign, occurring in 66 (94%) patients. Clinical seizures occurred in 57 (81%) patients. Median mean arterial pressure was 122 (105–143) mmHg on scene. Cerebral imaging abnormalities were bilateral (93%) and predominated in the parietal (93%) and occipital (86%) white matter. Median number of brain areas involved was 4 (3–5). Imaging abnormalities resolved in 43 (88%) patients. Ischaemic and/or haemorrhagic complications occurred in 7 (14%) patients. The most common causes were drug toxicity (44%) and hypertensive encephalopathy (41%). On day 90, 11 (16%) patients had died, 26 (37%) had marked functional impairments (GOS, 2 to 4), and 33 (56%) had a good recovery (GOS, 5). Factors independently associated with GOS<5 were highest glycaemia on day 1 (OR, 1.22; 95%CI, 1.02–1.45, p = 0.03) and time to causative-factor control (OR, 3.3; 95%CI, 1.04–10.46, p = 0.04), whereas GOS = 5 was associated with toxaemia of pregnancy (preeclampsia/eclampsia) (OR, 0.06; 95%CI, 0.01–0.38, p = 0.003).
By day 90 after admission for severe PRES, 44% of survivors had severe functional impairments. Highest glycaemia on day 1 and time to causative-factor control were strong early predictors of outcomes, suggesting areas for improvement.