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CASE REPORT Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 431-434
Metronidazole induced encephalopathy: A rare side effect with a common drug

1 Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Radiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ranveer S Jadon
Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 3rd Floor Teaching Block, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijri.IJRI_330_19

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In hospitals, seizures and encephalopathy are one of the common complications observed in critically ill patients. Drug intoxication, metabolic derangements, and anatomical abnormalities can cause altered mental status. We encountered an uncommon case with a diagnostic dilemma due to persistent encephalopathy, where metronidazole toxicity was an etiological factor. A 45-year-old male, who was admitted with the diagnosis of ruptured amoebic liver abscess. During the course of his management, he developed seizures and altered sensorium. After excluding other etiologies for in-hospital de novo seizure, a suspicion of metronidazole toxicity was considered. MRI brain was done which suggested the same. Metronidazole induced encephalopathy (MIE) is an uncommon adverse effect of treatment with metronidazole. Diagnosis is made by identifying specific radiological findings. It characteristically affects the cerebellum and subcortical structures. While the clinical and neuroimaging changes are usually reversible, persistent encephalopathy with poor outcomes may occur as seen in our case.

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