Marchiafava-Bignami disease: a case report

February 18, 2012, 11:14 pm

★★★☆☆

Alcoholic ketoacidosis coincides with acute Marchiafava-Bignami disease — a case report. Chen MH, Cheng C. Am J Emerg Med 2012 Feb 3 [Epub ahead of print]

No abstract available

Yeah, I didn’t know what Marchiafava-Bignami disease (MBD) is either. Discovered by two Italian pathologists (let’s call them Dr. M and Dr. B) in 1903, MBD is rare but can occur in chronic drinkers. The crucial lesion involves demyelination and necrosis of the corpus callosum. The exact cause is not known. Characteristic presenting manifestations include altered mental status, coma, stupor, and pyramidal-tract signs.

This case report — from Taiwan — describes a 53-year-old chronic alcohol abuser who had recently been binge drinking. He presented with alcoholic ketoacidosis, but also neurological impairment including semi-coma, rigidity, and bilateral positive Babinski signs. Magnetic resonance imaging showed characteristic lesions.

The authors note that the differential diagnosis of alcohol-related acute encephalopathy includes:

 

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