We report the case of a patient whose fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images demonstrated a hyperintense signal in the subarachnoid space and ocular globes. The patient had neurological disorder and elevated protein in his cerebrospinal fluid at presentation, and developed acute renal failure following acylovir therapy. He received propofol and supplemental oxygen for general anesthesia during brain magnetic resonance imaging. The article discusses the likely cause of the signal abnormalities on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequence in this complicated case. © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.