Volume 74, Issue 3 (June 2016)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2016, 74(3): 213-217 | Back to browse issues page

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Pourali L, Ayati S, Vatanchi A, Layegh P, Pourmoghadam N. Wernicke’s encephalopathy following hyperemesis gravidarum. Tehran Univ Med J. 2016; 74 (3) :213-217
URL: http://tumj.tums.ac.ir/article-1-7466-en.html
1- Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women's Health Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
2- Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women's Health Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. , ayatis@mums.ac.ir
3- Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Abstract:   (6051 Views)

Background: ″Wernicke’s Korsakoff″ syndrome is the most important complication of severe thiamine deficiency. The term refers to two different syndromes, each representing a different stage of the disease. Wernicke’s encephalopathy (WE) is an acute syndrome requiring emergent treatment to prevent death and neurologic morbidity. Korsakoff syndrome (KS) refers to a chronic neurologic condition that usually occurs as a consequence of WE. It is a rare complication of hyperemesis gravidarum that confusion, ocular signs, and gait ataxia are the most prevalent symptoms, respectively. Typical brain lesions of wernicke’s encephalopathy (WE) are observed at autopsy in 0.4 to 2.8 percent of the general population in the western world and the majority of affected patients are alcoholic. The prevalence of wernicke’s encephalopathy lesions seen on autopsy was 12.5% of alcohol abusers in one report. Among those who with alcohol-related death, it has been reported to be even higher, 29 to 59%. The aim of this study was to report a case of wernicke’s encephalopathy following hyperemesis gravidarum.

Case Presentation: A 28-year-old-pregnant woman in 19th weeks of gestation referred to the hospital with hyperemesis, gait ataxia, and dysarthria before that she had hyperemesis gravidarum with weight loss and unresponsive to outpatient and inpatient medical therapy. MRI showed hyperdense lesion around thalamus which was characteristic of wernicke’s encephalopathy. Rapid improvement in patient’s condition occurred after high dose thiamine infusion.

Conclusion: In hyperemesis gravidarum, presence of either symptoms of ocular or mental disorder or ataxia must be considered to rule out and appropriate treatment of Wernicke’s syndrome which can cause maternal and fetal death.

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Type of Study: Case Report |

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