Delayed Leukoencephalopathy after Acute Carbon Monoxide Intoxication in a Married Couple
- Seunghee Na Jooyeon Im Young-Je Heo In-Uk Song
- 대한임상노인의학회지 제19권 제2호
- 101 - 104 (4 pages)
Carbon monoxide intoxication often causes immediate neurologic deterioration and delayed neurologic sequelae after several weeks from the onset of anoxic event. A 65-year-old woman visited the emergency department with the lack of ability to move or speak for the past two weeks. Brain imaging test identified lesions in the bilateral basal gangli and extensive white matter lesions. Brain imaging findings of her spouse shared the similar findings of the patient. The patient and her spouse reported that both used to sleep in the self-made loess-sedimentary deposit-interior room. One day in the morning, her spouse found the patient with loss of consciousness in this room. When exhaust systems in loess interior spaces do not perform appropriately, amounts of carbon monoxide exceed the safe threshold and lead to an intoxication or near lethal range even in a short period of time such as less than 24 hours since exposure. Timely hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reduce the risk of delayed neurologic sequelae. Any physicians caring older adults with acute loss of consciousness should consider the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning when witness or caregivers provide loess interior spaces as their living environment, especially, in rural areas.