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Wernicke’s encephalopathy associated with liver abscess


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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