Imaging findings after methanol intoxication (cohort of 46 patients).

OBJECTIVES: Our goal is to demonstrate the variability of imaging findings, primarily in the MRI, in 46 patients who survived acute methanol poisoning. This cohort of patients is the largest such sample group examined by MRI.

METHODS: Patients were examined by means of imaging methods (42 patients by MRI and 4 by CT). All had an identical protocol of MR examination (T2WI, FLAIR, T1WI with or without application of contrast medium and T2WI/FFE, DWI in the transversal plane of the scan, and with focus on the optic nerves in the coronal plane of the scan in T2WI-SPIR).

RESULTS: Imaging methods revealed a positive finding associated with methanol intoxication in 21 patients (46%). These consisted of symmetrical lesions in the putamen--13 patients (28%), haemorrhage--13 cases (28%), deposits in white matter with localization primarily subcortically--4 cases (9%), lesions in the region of the globus pallidus--7 cases (15%) (in 6 cases without combination with the lesions in the putamen), lesions in the brainstem afflicted 6 patients (13%), and lesion in the cerebellum was found in one case. A pathological finding was found only in the patients examined by MRI.

CONCLUSION: Almost half of the patients who survived acute methanol poisoning had pathological findings by MRI. The most common finding concerned an affliction of the putamen, which is a predilection area. An interesting finding was the relatively frequent occurrence of selective lesion of the globus pallidus, which is more usually associated with other types of intoxication.

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