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Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome: A Case Study

Wright, Kathleen L. MSN, RN, AOCNS; Polito, Margaret H. BSN, RN; French, Anna E. BSN, RN-BC

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: May 2012 - Volume 112 - Issue 5 - p 36–40
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000414317.79577.99
Feature Articles

OVERVIEW: Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a rare neurologic disorder characterized by an acute increase in blood pressure, and by headaches, altered mental status, seizures, and visual loss. It is usually seen on computed tomographic scans as white-matter vasogenic edema predominantly affecting the posterior occipital and parietal lobes of the brain. Risk factors include malignant hypertension, eclampsia, medications such as immunosuppressants (including tacrolimus and cyclosporine), chemotherapy, biotherapy, and renal failure. Early recognition of the signs and symptoms of PRES, particularly identifying and treating high blood pressure, can prevent permanent neurologic disability.

Early recognition of the signs and symptoms of this rare disorder, particularly identifying and treating high blood pressure, can prevent permanent neurologic disability.

Kathleen L. Wright is a clinical nurse specialist on the acute and critical care units at Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, VA. Margaret H. Polito and Anna E. French are staff nurses at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA. Contact author: Kathleen L. Wright, kathleen.wright@inova.org. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.