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Intensive Care Med. 1994;20(4):282-6.

Wernicke's encephalopathy--causes to consider.

Author information

  • 1Neurological Clinic, St.-Josef Hospital, Ruhr-Universit├Ąt, Bochum, Germany.

Abstract

Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) is a thiamine deficiency disorder and is characterized clinically by the triad of ocular abnormalities, ataxia and disturbances of consciousness. We report on 3 patients with WE, of whom 2 had insufficient thiamine substitution. In the first patient symptoms disappeared during thiamine substitution. In the second patient acute WE was the terminating event in the sequence of parenteral nutrition, lactic acidosis and cardio-pulmonary decompensation. Possibly due to hereditary deficits WE developed in the third patient despite sufficient thiamine substitution. Attention to thiamine deficiency should be paid in all patients with history of alcoholism, malnutrition, malabsorption, tumors, inflammation, other severe diseases and in parenteral hyperalimentation. In order to prevent WE thiamine should be substituted with at least 100 mg/day i.v. or i.m.

PMID:
8046122
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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