A 16-year-old boy who was briefly asystolic and hypotensive after a motor vehicle accident complained of abnormal vision after recovering consciousness. Visual acuity was normal, but visual fields were severely constricted without clear hemianopic features. The ophthalmic examination was otherwise normal. Brain MRI performed 11 days after the accident showed no pertinent abnormalities. At 6 months after the event, brain MRI demonstrated brain volume loss in the primary visual cortex and no other abnormalities. One year later, visual fields remained severely constricted; neurologic examination, including formal neuropsychometric testing, was normal. This case emphasizes the fact that hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) may cause enduring damage limited to primary visual cortex and that the MRI abnormalities may be subtle. These phenomena should be recognized in the management of patients with HIE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology