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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227

Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.73 no.10 São Paulo Oct. 2015  Epub Aug 11, 2015 


Chronic stage of Marchiafava-Bignami disease

Fase crônica da doença de Marchiafava-Bignami

Leandro Tavares Lucato 1  

Fernando Freua 1   2  

Fernando Kok 1  

1Hospital das Clínicas da Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo SP, Brazil

2Hospital Samaritano de São Paulo, Sao Paulo SP, Brazil

Marchiafava-Bignami disease, first described in 1903, is a rare condition characterized by demyelination of the corpus callosum seen in patients with chronic alcoholism or nutritional susceptibility. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is currently the most sensitive diagnostic tool (Figure). A 24-year-old man, with a background of high level of alcohol abuse since he was 12, presented since last year behavioral and psychotic clinical manifestations characterized by elaborated visual and auditory delusions.

Figure Axial FLAIR image (Panel A, arrow) shows hyperintensity in the splenium of the corpus callosum. Sagittal T1-weighted image (Panel B, arrow) demonstrates the focal nature of this lesion. Three-dimensional fiber tracking of corpus callosum coregistered onto a parasagittal FLAIR image (Panel C) discloses a substantial decrease in fibers crossing through the splenium. 


Marchiafava E, Bignami A. Sopra un alterazione del corpo calloso osservata in soggetti alcoolisti. Riv Patol Nerv Ment. 1903;8:544-9. [ Links ]

Hillbom M, Saloheimo P, Fujioka S, Wszolek ZK, Juvela S, Leone MA. Diagnosis and management of Marchiafava-Bignami desease: a review of CT/MRI confirmed cases. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2014;85(2):168-73. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2013-305979 [ Links ]

Received: April 17, 2015; Accepted: May 08, 2015

Correspondence: Fernando Freua; Rua Conselheiro Brotero, 1505 / Cj 41; 01232-010 São Paulo SP, Brasil; E-mail:

Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interest to declare.

Creative Commons License This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.