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Wernicke’s encephalopathy associated with liver abscess
  1. Rajesh Verma1,
  2. Vipul Garg2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  2. 2King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rajesh Verma, drrajeshverma32{at}


Wernicke's encephalopathy is a rare neurological disorder caused by thiamine deficiency, characterised by ocular motor dysfunction, ataxia and impairment in consciousness. It predominantly affects brain regions with a high metabolic rate such as mammillary bodies, medial thalamic nuclei, the tectal region and the cerebellum. Although chronic alcoholism is the most common cause of Wernicke's encephalopathy, various other conditions not related to alcohol consumption such as bariatric surgery, acute pancreatitis, hyperemesis gravidarum, prolonged fasting and gastrointestinal surgery have been implicated in its aetiology. We report the case of a patient who underwent surgery for liver abscess and subsequently developed Wernicke's encephalopathy; he showed a positive response to thiamine supplementation. This is the first report describing liver abscess as the cause of Wernicke's encephalopathy.

  • neurology (drugs and medicines)
  • alcoholic liver disease
  • medical management
  • coma and raised intracranial pressure
  • cranial nerves
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  • Contributors RV made the hypothesis and VG helped in preparing the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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