Elevation of serum lactate dehydrogenase at posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome onset in chemotherapy-treated cancer patients

Ryan T. Fitzgerald, Steven M. Wright, Rohan S. Samant, Manoj Kumar, Raghu H. Ramakrishnaiah, Rudy Van Hemert, Aliza T. Brown, Edgardo J. Angtuaco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The pathophysiology of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is incompletely understood; however, an underlying state of immune dysregulation and endothelial dysfunction has been proposed. We examined alterations of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), a marker of endothelial dysfunction, relative to the development of PRES in patients receiving chemotherapy. A retrospective Institutional Review Board approved database of 88 PRES patients was examined. PRES diagnosis was confirmed by congruent clinical diagnosis and MRI. Clinical features at presentation were recorded. Serum LDH values were collected at three time points: prior to, at the time of, and following PRES diagnosis. Student's t-test was employed. LDH values were available during the course of treatment in 12 patients (nine women; mean age 57.8 years [range 33-75 years]). Chemotherapy-associated PRES patients were more likely to be normotensive (25%) versus the non-chemotherapy group (9%). LDH levels at the time of PRES diagnosis were higher than those before and after (p = 0.0263), with a mean difference of 114.8 international units/L. Mean time intervals between LDH measurement prior to and following PRES diagnosis were 44.8 days and 51.4 days, respectively. Mean elapsed time between last chemotherapy administration and PRES onset was 11.1 days. In conclusion, serum LDH, a marker of endothelial dysfunction, shows statistically significant elevation at the onset of PRES toxicity in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Our findings support a systemic process characterized by endothelial injury/dysfunction as a factor, if not the prime event, in the pathophysiology of PRES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1575-1578
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy
  • LDH
  • Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome
  • PRES

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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