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Acta Neurol Belg. 1999 Sep;99(3):189-93.

Improvement of central pontine myelinolysis as demonstrated by repeated magnetic resonance imaging in a patient without evidence of hyponatremia.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Central pontine myelinolysis is usually associated with hyponatremia or rapid correction of this condition. In general, this neurological disorder has a fatal prognosis. We observed a 30-year-old woman with a history of chronic alcohol abuse but without evidence of hyponatremia, who developed severe pontine central myelinolysis. The initial magnetic resonance (MR)-imaging showed a marked lesion in the central pontine area, sequential MR-imaging revealed progressive reduction of this defect over the following months. This reduction was accompanied by excellent clinical recovery. This case report demonstrates that central pontine myelinolysis is not always associated with hyponatremia and illustrates that, although in general the prognosis is bad, some patients may recover with improvement of the abnormalities on the MR-images.

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