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Acute multiple focal neuropathies and delayed postanoxic encephalopathy after alcohol intoxication

Authors Wang W, Yang H, Chen Y

Received 1 May 2015

Accepted for publication 26 June 2015

Published 17 July 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 1781—1784

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S87731

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Miao Sun

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Wei-Che Wang, Hsiu-Chun Yang, Yao-Jen Chen

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Abstract: Acute-onset alcohol-associated neuropathy is only occasionally reported, and delayed postanoxic encephalopathy is rare. Here, we report a male who developed acute multiple focal neuropathies and later delayed postanoxic encephalopathy after alcohol intoxication. He had hypoxia and rhabdomyolysis, presenting with acute renal failure initially, and cardiopulmonary support, including mechanical ventilation, led to improvement of the patient at the acute stage. He suffered from bilateral hand numbness and mild weakness of the right lower limb thereafter. Nerve-conduction study revealed no pickup of compound muscle action potential or sensory nerve action potential in the bilateral ulnar nerve, but showed attenuated amplitude of compound muscle action potential in the right femoral nerve. Multiple focal neuropathies were suspected, and he received outpatient rehabilitation after being discharged. However, the patient developed gradual onset of weakness in four limbs and cognitive impairment 23 days after the hypoxia event. Brain computed tomography showed low attenuation over bilateral globus pallidus, and brain magnetic resonance imaging disclosed diffuse increased signal intensity on T2-weighted images and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery in bilateral white matter. He was admitted again under the impression of delayed postanoxic brain injury. Supportive treatment and active rehabilitation were given. He had gradual improvement in motor and functional status after rehabilitation. He could walk with festinating gait under supervision, and needed only minimal assistance in performing activities of daily living approximately 1 year later.

Keywords: multiple focal neuropathies, delayed postanoxic encephalopathy, alcohol intoxication, rhabdomyolysis

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