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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X


PITTELLA, José Eymard Homem  and  GOBBI, Helenice. Central pontine and extrapontine myelinolysis: report of an autopsied case and review of the literature. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1987, vol.45, n.3, pp.302-311. ISSN 0004-282X.

An autopsied case of central pontine and extrapontine myelinolysis in a 16-year-old diabetic girl is described. Due to dehydration she was treated vigorously with daily intravenous isotonic saline, from the first day of hospitalization. In the first three days the serum sodium level increased by more than 30 mEq/1 when compared with the initial level. By the next days the serum sodium level, after a mild drop, rose again and was maintained above normal range for a further 12 days. On the sixth day of this new and sustained serum sodium increase, the patient presented progressive neurological manifestations that remained until her death, characterized by mutism, inability to eat, to move her head, trunk, and members and, in addition, retention of respiratory secretions. The neuropathological examination showed massive central pontine myelinolysis and similar myelinolytic lesions in the subcortical white matter of the temporal lobe, the right optic tract, the external and extreme capsules to the right, the main mammillary tract and the subcortical white matter of the left cerebellar hemisphere. The review of the literature on central pontine and extrapontine myelinolysis shows that the present case is the 30th of such condition. The clinical picture and the etiopathogenesis of central pontine and extrapontine myelinolysis are commented upon. It is suggested, as possible causative factors, the persistent and rapid correction of serum sodium concentration as well as its flutuation in patients with hyponatremia and/or dehydration.

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