Central pontine and extrapontine myelinolysis associated with acute hepatic dysfunction

Neurol Sci. 2012 Jun;33(3):673-6. doi: 10.1007/s10072-011-0838-3. Epub 2011 Nov 13.


Central pontine myelinolysis and extrapontine myelinolysis are rare demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system. These diseases are related frequently to rapid correction of hyponatremia. They have also been described in association with other underlying conditions such as alcoholism and malnutrition. In the present study, we report a case of central pontine and extrapontine myelinolysis with acute hepatic dysfunction. The patient had no apparent evidence of hyponatremia and no history of alcohol abuse. On admission, the patient was lethargic; dysphagia, dysarthria, and quadriplegia were noted. Laboratory examination showed significantly increased transaminase without hyponatremia. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed abnormal signal intensities in the pons and thalamus. Consciousness level and clinical symptoms improved gradually within a week. We suggest that acute hepatic dysfunction may play an important role in the development of central pontine myelinolysis and extrapontine myelinolysis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / complications*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Myelinolysis, Central Pontine / etiology*
  • Myelinolysis, Central Pontine / pathology
  • Pons / pathology*