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Acta Neurológica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-8748


PALAZON CABANES, Begoña; MARTINEZ LERMA, Eduardo José; FUENTES FERNANDEZ, Ignacio  and  HERNANDEZ CLARES, Rocío. Late presentation of wernicke's encephalopathy after gastrectomy in a patient with gastric adenocarcinoma: case report. Acta Neurol Colomb. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.4, pp.412-416. ISSN 0120-8748.

Wernicke encephalopathy is a neurological emergency characterized by classic clinical triad of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia and disturbance of mental status, which carries high morbidity and mortality. It is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine), which plays an essential role in the metabolism of neurons in specific brain areas. While alcoholism is the most common cause of this syndrome, numerous etiologies have been described that alter the bioavailability or metabolism of thiamine (1), among which are included gastrointestinal tract surgery, mainly bariatric surgery. Usually the onset occurs between week 4 and 12 after resection, but some cases have been rarely described to occur late (years). We report the case of a patient who underwent gastrectomy for a gastric adenocarcinoma who developed Wernicke encephalopathy after 8 years of surgical resection.

Keywords : Wernicke's Encephalopathy; thiamine deficiency; gastric adenocarcinoma; ophthalmoplegia.

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