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We report on a 42-year-old female patient who presented with high arterial blood pressure of 245/150 mmHg and hypertensive brainstem encephalopathy that involved the brainstem and extensive supratentorial deep gray and white matter. The lesions were nearly completely resolved several days after stabilization of the arterial blood pressure. Normal diffusion-weighted imaging findings and high apparent diffusion coefficient values suggested that the main pathomechanism was vasogenic edema owing to severe hypertension. On the basis of a literature review, the absolute value of blood pressure or whether the patient can control his/her blood pressure seems not to be associated with the degree of the lesions evident on magnetic resonance imaging. It remains to be determined if the acceleration rate and the duration of elevated arterial blood pressure might play a key role in the development of the hypertensive encephalopathy pattern.
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