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HOME > Acute Crit Care > Volume 23(2); 2008 > Article
Case Report A Case of Wernicke's Encephalopathy Occurring in a Patient with Aspiration Pneumonia: A Case Report
So Mi Kim, Ji Hyun Suh, Ran Noh, Young Kwang Choo, Sung Soo La, Jae Seuk Park, Doh Hyung Kim

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4266/kjccm.2008.23.2.106
Department of Internal Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. kimdh@dankook.ac.kr
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Wernicke's encephalopathy is a neurologic complication of thiamine deficiency, presenting with acute confusion, oculomotor dysfunction, and gait ataxia. While most often associated with chronic alcoholism, Wernicke's encephalopathy occasionally occurs in the setting of poor nutritional status, such as malabsorption, increased metabolic requirements, or increased loss of the water-soluble vitamins. Patients with critical illnesses can present with excessive catabolic status because of activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the pituitary-adrenal axis. In addition, inappropriate nutritional evaluation and lack of concerns for adequate nutrient support can increase the morbidity and mortality in such patients. However, the importance of adequate nutritional support is often disregarded during treatment of the patient's primary illness. We have recently managed a patient with Wernicke's encephalopathy and pneumonia who did not receive adequate nutritional support during hospitalization. We report this case to call attention to the importance of nutritional support in critically ill patients.


ACC : Acute and Critical Care