Wernicke encephalopathy

Case contributed by Dr Lee-Anne Slater


Presented with confusion, ataxia and nystagmus on the background of a long history of alcohol abuse.

Patient Data

Age: 70 years
Gender: Male

FLAIR hyperintensities in the periaqueductal region, dorsal brainstem, medial thalami surrounding the third ventricle on the background of chronic small vessel ischemia. The mamillary bodies are also noted to be atrophic in this patient. There is also FLAIR hyperintensity seen involving the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum. Restricted diffusion around the 3rd ventricle/medial thalamus.

Case Discussion

These features are in keeping with Wernicke encephalopathy with the FLAIR hyperintensity in the corpus callosum raising the possibility of Marchiafava-Bignami disease.

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Case information

rID: 12151
Published: 25th Oct 2010
Last edited: 13th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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