Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Original Article

Central pontine myelinolysis developed during alcohol withdrawal in a chronic alcoholic with hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state

Toshiyuki Sakai, M.D.1) and Hidekazu Tomimoto, M.D.2)

1)Department of Neurology, Saiseikai Matsusaka General Hospital
2)Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, Mie University

We present a 46-year-old man with central pontine myelinolysis (CPM). He had been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and chronic pancreatitis. He had drunk more than 1.2 l of Japanese sake daily for 20 years and more. He developed slight reduction of consciousness, dysarthria and truncal ataxia 7 days after he stopped drinking. The laboratory data on admission showed hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, according to the following findings; glucose 1,058 mg/dl, serum osmolality 328 mOsm/l and serum sodium 119 mEq/l. According as administration of acetic Ringer's solution and insulin injection, the laboratory data 14 hours after admission showed glucose 235 mg/dl, serum osmolality 290 mOsm/l and serum sodium 131 mEq/l. The initial diffusion weighted images (DWI) on MRI revealed a small high signal intensity spot in the pons. The second DWI after 14 days revealed a trident-shaped hyperintensity in the pons that was compatible with CPM. His symptoms showed no remarkable changes, but susceptibility weighted images of MRI after 4 months revealed low signal intensity area in the CPM lesion that indicated pontine hemorrhage. We speculate that marked fluctuation of serum osmotic pressure associated with the rapid change of the serum glucose had a significant role in the pathogenesis of the present case. Therefore, we recommend gradual correction of serum glucose and serum osmolality to maintain less than 12 mEq/l/day as correction of chronic hyponatremia in to prevent and ameliorate pathologic condition of CPM.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (3465K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 54: 116|123, 2014)
key words: central pontine myelinolysis (CPM), alcohol withdrawal, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HSS), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), pontine hemorrhage

(Received: 1-May-13)