Wernicke’s Encephalopathy with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Case report


Mustafa. Bulugma ¹, Fuad Hasairy ¹, Fathi Batour ², Omaima Mariami ¹, Amal Gashout ¹

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1-Zawia Teaching Hospital 2-Surman General Hospital, Libya

JMJ Vol.8, No.2 (Summer) 2008:151-152


Avitaminosis can result from acute malnutrition associated with prolonged hyperemesis gravidarum arising from thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency. Thiamine requirements are increased in pregnancy, and this is thought to be the result of sequestration of the vitamin by foetus and placenta. With hyperemesis gravidarum the deficiency is further compounded by the impaired absorption related to intractable vomiting. Wernicke’s encephalopathy is not uncommon in hyperemesis gravidarum due to malnutrition, yet is very often goes unrecognized until significant and potentially permanent morbidity occurs. It can be fatal in 20% of patients. We present a case of wernicke’s encephalopathy resulting from prolonged hyperemesis gravidarum to illustrate the importance of early recognition of this rare illness and to avoid permanent neurological deficit and possible maternal and foetal morbidity.

Keywords: Wernicke’s Encephalopathy (WE), Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)

Link/DOI: http://www.jmj.org.ly/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1477