Magnetic resonance imaging of sequelae of central pontine myelinolysis in chronic alcohol abusers

Neuroradiology. 2003 Dec;45(12):877-80. doi: 10.1007/s00234-003-1095-9. Epub 2003 Sep 24.


Central pontine myelinolysis (CPM) is one of the serious neurological complications of alcoholism. This study evaluated magnetic resonance images of sequelae of CPM. Approximately 600 alcoholic patients were examined by a 1.0-T magnetic resonance imaging device, and 11 patients were retrospectively found to have a central pontine lesion, a presumed sequela of CPM. The lesions had various shapes and most were cavitary. In 3 of the 11 patients bilateral symmetrical oval lesions were faintly visible in the middle cerebellar peduncles. These middle cerebellar peduncular lesions were diagnosed as having Wallerian degeneration of the pontocerebellar tract secondary to CPM.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelinolysis, Central Pontine / etiology*
  • Myelinolysis, Central Pontine / pathology*
  • Pons / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wallerian Degeneration / etiology
  • Wallerian Degeneration / pathology