Cerebral demyelination with 5-fluorouracil and levamisole

Athanasios B.T. Fassas, Anna M. Gattani, Susan Morgello

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46 Scopus citations


We report a patient who developed multifocal cerebral demyelination with the use of 5-fluorouracil, levamisole, and leucovorin as adjuvant treatment for intestinal adenocarcinoma. The clinical features were acute confusion, restlessness, ataxia, and slurred speech. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed multifocal enhancing white matter lesions. Brain biopsy showed a well-demarcated area of demyelination in cerebral white matter. The patient improved clinically and radiologically after cessation of chemotherapy and a short course of steroids. There have been only 4 previously reported cases of multifocal leukoencephalopathy related to the use of combination 5-fluorouracil and levamisole. The extensive use of these agents as adjuvant treatment for colorectal carcinoma may result in more frequent recognition of this form of neurological toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-383
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


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