Soonchunhyang Med Sci.  2016 Dec;22(2):218-221. 10.0000/sms.2016.22.2.218.

Ataxic Form of Central Pontine Myelinolysis Developed during Alcohol Withdrawal in a Chronic Alcoholic

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. oh906@schmc.ac.kr

Abstract

Central pontine myelinolysis (CPM) is well-recognized osmotic demyelination syndrome that is related to various conditions such as rapid correction of hyponatremia and chronic alcoholism. Acute ataxia as a sole clinical sign in CPM is rare. We report a case of a 59-year-old man with dysarthria, intention tremor, and a significant gait ataxia starting after alcohol withdrawal, with radiological evidence of CPM. CPM should be included in the differential diagnosis of alcoholic patients who develop a sudden ataxia. Chronic alcohol abuse is one of the most commonly encountered predisposing factors. Alcohol withdrawal represents an additional vulnerability factor, being responsible for electrolyte imbalances which are not always demonstrable but are certainly involved in the development of CPM.

Keyword

Ataxia; Central pontine myelinolysis; Alcoholics

MeSH Terms

Alcoholics*
Alcoholism
Ataxia
Causality
Demyelinating Diseases
Diagnosis, Differential
Dysarthria
Gait Ataxia
Humans
Hyponatremia
Middle Aged
Myelinolysis, Central Pontine*
Tremor
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