Brain lesions can be a result of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Neurological manifestations in patients with inflammatory bowel disease supposedly are rare, although the exact frequency is not known. Most previous reports involve cerebral venous thrombosis, central nervous system vasculitis, or peripheral nerve inflammation.
Two cases of patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease developing neurological symptoms with corresponding lesions in the white matter of the central nervous system led us to search a neurological database with clinical and radiological data for similar cases.
We identified five patients who presented with acute neurological deficits preceding or following a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease with evidence of lesions in the central nervous system white matter on magnetic resonance imaging. Ancillary investigations did not provide evidence of systemic infetcion, coagulation disorders, or vasculitis.
These cases, together with previous reports, suggest that white matter lesions may be another extraintestinal manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease.