Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia
Print version ISSN 0034-7094
MORAIS, Bruno Salomé de et al. Central pontine myelinolysis after liver transplantation: is sodium the only villain? Case report. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2009, vol.59, n.3, pp. 344-349. ISSN 0034-7094. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-70942009000300010.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Critically ill patients frequently develop neurologic symptoms, which frequently become a clinical challenge. Described approximately 50 years ago, pontine neuronal demyelination is a pathologic change associated with neurologic and psychiatric problems after liver transplantation. The objective of this report was to present a case of central pontine myelinolysis diagnosed after liver transplantation and to discuss its pathophysiology. CASE REPORT: A 29 years old female patient underwent liver transplantation for fulminant hepatic failure. Postoperatively, she developed neurologic symptoms characteristic of the Locked In Syndrome and the MRI showed changes compatible with central pontine myelinolysis. The patient did not develop dramatic changes in sodium plasma levels, which is frequently incriminated as the causal agent, and improved considerably within a few weeks. CONCLUSIONS: The etiology of central pontine myelinolysis is multifactorial, and special attention should be given to the group of patients at greater risk, such as those with sudden changes in the plasma levels of sodium, liver transplantation, chronic alcoholics, and malnourished. It is important to recognize that osmotic demyelination can develop in patients with low, normal, or elevated plasma levels of sodium, indicating the contribution of other trigger factors.
Keywords : COMPLICATIONS [central pontine myelinolysis]; SURGERY, Transplantation [liver].