Visual hallucinosis during hypoperfusion of the right occipito-temporal cortex

Nicolae Sanda, Jose Bernardo Escribano Paredes, Victor Ferastraoaru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Positive visual phenomena, although reported in lesions of visual cortex, are often overlooked in patients with acute neurological conditions. Yet, their occurrence without structural abnormalities or other underlying neurological disorders represents a unique observation. This report aims to raise awareness of these phenomena, their implications for understanding visual consciousness and to propose a practical, structured algorithm for the clinical assessment of visual hallucinations related to neurological conditions. Methods: We describe the clinical presentation and imaging findings in two patients with isolated visual hallucinosis secondary to transitory hypoperfusion. Results: One patient presented with subocclusion of the right posterior cerebral artery and the other with multifocal arterial abnormalities suggestive of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS). Both presented isolated visual hallucinations and hypoperfusion of the right mesial occipito-temporal cortex. Hallucinated images exhibited peculiarities of certain attributes that were recognized only through guided perceptual analysis performed during their occurrence. Discussion: Dysfunctions in the visual and attentional networks due to the uneven impact of hypoperfusion on the regions of the mesial occipito-temporal cortex likely contributed to the occurrence of visual hallucinations. The initial impaired awareness of certain image attributes obscured an altered, non-realistic rendering of the hallucinated images. Enhancement of awareness through clinical guidance indicates improved attentional deployment, modulation of visual information processing and hallucination–background integration. These features of the hallucinatory phenomena highlight the critical role of semiological analysis during their occurrence and question the validity of post hoc inquiries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Neurology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Cerebral hypoperfusion
  • Hallucination semiology
  • Visual hallucinations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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