We report a case of Wernicke's encephalopathy in which diffusion-weighted MR images demonstrated symmetrical hyperintense lesions in the paraventricular area of the third ventricles and medial thalami. Apparent diffusion coefficient mapping showed isointensity in the aforementioned areas. Diffusion-weighted MR images may provide evidence of vasogenic edema associated with thiamine deficiency, proven in the histopathology of experimental animals. In addition, diffusion-weighted MRI has many advantages over T2 or FLARE-weighted brain MRI in detecting structural and functional abnormalities in Wernicke's encephalopathy.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland, Ltd.