Atypical Wernicke's encephalopathy showing lesions in the cranial nerve nuclei and cerebellum

J Neuroimaging. 2008 Apr;18(2):194-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6569.2007.00188.x. Epub 2007 Oct 18.


Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) is a severe neurological disorder caused by a dietary deficiency of Vitamin B1 and characterized by consciousness changes, ocular abnormalities, and ataxia. Wernicke's encephalopathy is considered a medical emergency and treatment consists of intravenous thiamine administration. Typically in alcoholic and nonalcoholic patients magnetic resonance shows alterations in the mamillary bodies, medial thalami, tectal plate, and periaqueductal regions. We report here on a nonalcoholic atypical case of WE which presented with reversible symmetrical lesions in the cranial nerves nuclei and in the cerebellum alongside the classic neuroradiological findings.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cerebellum / pathology*
  • Cranial Nerves / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Thiamine / administration & dosage
  • Wernicke Encephalopathy / diagnosis*
  • Wernicke Encephalopathy / pathology


  • Thiamine