2017, Number 02
Ginecol Obstet Mex 2017; 85 (02)
Cotaina GL, Lázaro GVE, Roca AM, Lahoz PI, Rodríguez LL, Campillos-Maza JM
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ABSTRACTBackground: Wernicke’s encephalopathy, caused by vitamin B1 deficiency, is characterised by the triad of confusion, ataxia and ophthalmoplegia. If memory or learning deficits appear simultaneously, it is known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
Clinic case: We present the case of a primigravida in her 18th week of pregnancy who had been suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. She came to the emergency unit because of progressive loss of strength in her lower limbs. Five days after her admission, a deterioration of her general condition was observed. The examination revealed bilateral spontaneous horizontal-rotatory nystagmus, flaccid tetraparesis with proximal predominance, global areflexia predominantly in the lower limbs and loss of sphincters tone. The patient was confused, disoriented and repetitive in her speech. Parenteral vitamin B1 was initiated as a metabolic polineuropathy due to thiamine insufficiency was suspected. As a result the symptoms of nystagmus and confusion subsided. Intensive physical therapy was programmed in a rehabilitation unit 1 month later. Pregnancy developed normally and she continued with thiamine and antiemetic therapy.
Conclusions: Wernicke’s encephalopathy is an infrequent pathology, but its consequences may be really serious. This is the reason why it is paramount to take into account this entity in pregnant women liable to develop it and to carry out adequate prophylaxis to prevent its appearance and development of posterior sequels.