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Am J Med Sci. 2004 May;327(5):250-2.

Occidental beriberi and sudden death.

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Intensive Care Unit, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens University, Athens, Greece.


Beriberi, thiamine deficiency, is classified as "dry" (neurologic) or "wet" (cardiovascular) and may be mixed. Deficiency of this vitamin may be nutritional or secondary to alcohol intoxication. In Western societies (occidental beriberi), the disorder is more commonly observed in long-term alcohol abusers. However, it may go undiagnosed because it is relatively uncommon. In some cases (acute cardiovascular beriberi), early treatment with parenteral vitamin B1 is required to prevent the development of low-output state and sudden death. We report a case of occidental beriberi with fatal outcome despite therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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