Wernicke encephalopathy: MR findings in two patients

Eur Radiol. 1999;9(8):1620-4. doi: 10.1007/s003300050896.


Wernicke encephalopathy is a serious neurologic disorder caused by vitamin-B1 or thiamine deficiency. In the literature the characteristic symmetric paraventricular lesions of Wernicke encephalopathy are hyperintense on T2-weighted sequences spin-echo (SE) and enhance on T1-weighted SE sequences after intravenous gadolinium administration in the acute phase. We present two patients in the acute phase of Wernicke encephalopathy with special reference to the MR imaging. One of our reported cases is special because of the MR demonstration of a hemorrhagic focus in the caput of the right nucleus caudatus. The other case demonstrates no enhancement on SE T1-weighted sequences after intravenous gadolinium administration.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Caudate Nucleus / pathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Wernicke Encephalopathy / pathology*


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA