Delayed Neuropsychiatric Sequelae and Neuroimaging Findings as a Result of Carbon Monoxide Acute Poisoning and/or Chronic Intoxication

Thomas Chatzintounas

MD PhD, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Xanthi, Greece

Dr. Thomas Chatzintounas, MD PhD, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Xanthi, Greece.

Keywords: Chronic Carbon Monoxide Intoxication; Carbon Monoxide Poisoning; Bilateral Pallidal Necrosis; Delayed Neurologic Sequelae; Cognitive Disorders


Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, nonirritant gas that accounts for numerous cases of CO poisoning every year. CO intoxication is produced by a variety of sources of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, such as poorly functioning or indoor propane-powered heating systems, indoor burning of charcoal burning briquettes and gasoline-powered generators that are not placed in appropriate locations. The initial symptoms are nonspecific, such as: headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and impaired manual dexterity, but when COHb levels are between 30% and 70%, loss of consciousness ensues. Subsequently with the resolution of acute symptoms there may be a lucid interval prior to the development of delayed neurologic sequelae (DNS). Neuropsychologic abnormalities with chronic CO exposure are reported very often. In this short review of the literature we describe the neuroimaging (CT and MRI) findings, the delayed neurologic sequelae (DNS) and the neuropsychiatric findings following CO intoxication.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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