Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome During Combined Modality Therapy for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a rare and acute disease with central nervous system symptoms. Without appropriate therapy, patients may exhibit a poor prognosis. PRES should be recognized as a possible problem during therapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).


A 56-year-old female developed PRES during combined modality therapy for HNSCC. On the fourth day after surgery and following chemoradiotherapy, PRES developed with a sudden visual disorder, followed by headache located at the back of the head and convulsions accompanied by impaired consciousness. We diagnosed PRES based on the clinical manifestations and magnetic resonance imaging data.


The patient recovered from PRES by appropriate treatment.


This is the first case report of PRES developed during treatment for HNSCC. Masked by other cerebrovascular disorders, more cases of PRES could exist than usually expected; therefore, we should consider PRES as a differential diagnosis for central nervous system disorders developing during high-intensity therapy.

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