Fundus Findings in Wernicke Encephalopathy

Tal Serlin, Elad Moisseiev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) is an acute neuropsychiatric syndrome resulting from thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, classically characterized by the triad of ophthalmoplegia, confusion, and ataxia. While commonly associated with chronic alcoholism, WE may also occur in the setting of poor nutrition or absorption. We present a 37-year-old woman who underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and presented with visual disturbance with bilateral horizontal nystagmus, confusion, and postural imbalance. Fundus examination revealed bilateral optic disc edema with a retinal hemorrhage in the left eye. Metabolic workup demonstrated thiamine deficiency. Her symptoms resolved after thiamine treatment. This case raises the awareness of the possibility of posterior segment findings in WE, which are underreported in WE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-409
Number of pages4
JournalCase Reports in Ophthalmology
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 May 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Fundus
  • Optic disc edema
  • Retinal hemorrhage
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Wernicke encephalopathy

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