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Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 789–790 | Cite as

Antecedent diffuse cerebellar lesions on diffusion-weighted MRI in nonalcoholic Wernicke’s encephalopathy

  • Taro Shigekiyo
  • Hiroki Tani
  • Hideto Nakajima
  • Fumiharu Kimura
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Wernicke’s encephalopathy is an acute neurologic disorder caused by thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. The cause of thiamine deficiency is mainly chronic alcoholism. A variety of other conditions such as malnutrition, sepsis, malignancy, chemotherapy, and hyperemesis gravidarum can also lead to Wernicke’s encephalopathy. In patients with this disorder, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the useful test to support the diagnosis of Wernicke’s encephalopathy, with a sensitivity and specificity of 53 and 93%, respectively [1]. MRI typically shows altered signal intensity in the medial thalami, mammillary bodies, tectal plate, and periaqueductal area because these periventricular regions are possibly more sensitive to the oxidative and glucose metabolisms associated with thiamine. Wernicke’s encephalopathy is typically characterized by ocular signs, ataxia, and altered mental state/memory impairment. However, this clinical triad is present in only approximately 30% of...

Notes

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Authors’ contributions

TS and HN examined and wrote the manuscript. HT and FK helped to draft the manuscript and performed the analyses. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Neurology, Department of Internal Medicine IVOsaka Medical CollegeOsakaJapan

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