Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome caused by blood transfusion: A case report

Yung Chuan Huang, Pei Lin Tsai, Jiann Horng Yeh, Wei Hung Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This is a case report of a 32-year-old woman with chronic severe anemia who developed headaches and seizures 5 days after receiving a blood transfusion of eight units (1600 ml) of packed red blood cells. Magnetic resonance imaging indicated vasogenic edematous lesions bilaterally over the occipital lobes that were consistent with reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). Her blood pressure was normal, and no other contributing factors for RPLS were found. It is likely that the initiator was the large volume of transfused blood, which disrupted cerebral autoregulation and damaged the vasculoendothelial system. Similar cases of RPLS following transfusion have been reported, and all reports involved middle-aged females with chronic severe anemia who received large volumes of transfused blood within a short period of time. Although blood transfusion is a common procedure with rare neurological complications, great caution should be taken with chronic severely anemic patients because a rapid elevation in hemoglobin may precipitate RPLS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-262
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurologica Taiwanica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Cerebral autoregulation
  • Hyperperfusion syndrome
  • Posterior leukoencephalopathy
  • Transfusion complication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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