Dr Erlend Tuseth Aasheim reviewed the clinical essentials of Wernicke encephalopathy after bariatric surgery.
Literature searches were performed in Medline, Embase, and abstract collections.
Inclusion criteria were Wernicke encephalopathy after bariatric surgery.
|Gastric bypass had been performed in 95% of cases|
|Annals of Surgery|
Wernicke encephalopathy was diagnosed by the presence of 2 or more of the following signs; mental status changes, eye movement abnormalities, cerebellar dysfunction, and dietary deficiency.
Of 104 reported cases of Wernicke encephalopathy after bariatric surgery, 84 cases were included.
Gastric bypass or a restrictive procedure had been performed in 95% of cases.
Admission to hospital for Wernicke encephalopathy occurred within 6 months of surgery in 94% of cases.
The researcher noted that frequent vomiting was a risk factor in 90%, and had lasted for a median of 21 days at admission.
Intravenous glucose administration without thiamine was a risk factor in 18% of cases.
Brain magnetic resonance imaging identified lesions characteristic of Wernicke encephalopathy in 47%.
Incomplete recovery was observed in 49% of cases.
The researcher found that memory deficits and gait difficulties were frequent sequela.
The review showed that the recent increase in the use of bariatric surgery in the United States was associated with an increase in reported Wernicke encephalopathy cases.
Dr Aasheim concludes, "