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Embolic stroke associated with injection of buprenorphine tablets.

Embolic stroke associated with injection of buprenorphine tablets.

  1. ThirdEyeFloond
    Neurology. 2009 Sep 15;73(11):876-9.

    Lim CC, Lee SH, Wong YC, Hui F.


    BACKGROUND: Drug users who crush, dissolve, and inject buprenorphine tablets parenterally may be at risk of severe thromboembolic complications or death. We describe patients with neurologic complications after injecting buprenorphine tablets. METHODS: Brain MRI including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in patients admitted to the neurologic department after injecting buprenorphine tablets were reviewed. RESULTS: Seven men had neurologic complications after buprenorphine tablet injection. In 5 patients, multiple small scattered hyperintense lesions were detected on DWI in the cortex, white matter, and basal ganglia of the cerebral hemisphere; one patient had a single small lesion. The side of MRI abnormality corresponded to the side of needle marks on the neck except in one patient who had bilateral injections. One patient, who denied injecting into the neck, had DWI abnormalities in the middle cerebral artery territory on one side and occlusion of the ipsilateral internal carotid artery. CONCLUSIONS: Buprenorphine tablets can be intentionally or inadvertently injected into the carotid artery, causing a characteristic appearance on diffusion-weighted imaging, consistent with embolic cerebral infarction.