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WERNICKE’S ENCEPHALOPATHY AS A COMPLICATION OF CHAGAS MEGA ESOPHAGUS

F. Magalhães Scoralick, L.L. Louzada, M.A.Toledo, M. Ruback

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2012;1(2):178-180

he Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) is a potentially lethal disease that is associated with vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency. It is characterized by disordered mental status, memory deficits, psychosis, ophtalmoplegia and ataxic gait. The WKS is associated with alcohol use in about 90% of the patients. This report adds the possibility of developing vitamin B1 deficiency and WKS in patients with chagasic mega esophagus. The authors describe a case of a 63 year old man with grade IV chagasic mega esophagus. There was no past use of alcohol. He was admitted to the emergency unit of the Brasilia University Hospital with a history of acute diarrhea, altered mental status, disordered ocular movements, flaccid tetraparesis and abolished deep tendon reflexes. The plasma levels of thiamin were markedly reduced and in the magnetic resonance of the brain there were alterations usually found in acute Wernicke encephalopathy. This report highlights the possibility of considering patients with chagasic mega esophagus as at risk for developing vitamin B1 deficiency and WKS.

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