Brain Neurorehabil.  2017 Mar;10(1):e6. 10.12786/bn.2017.10.e6.

Central and Extrapontine Myelinolysis after Alcohol Withdrawal and Correction of Hypernatremia in a Chronic Alcoholic: a Case Report

  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Osmotic demyelination syndrome (ODS) is a demyelinating disorder related to the rapid correction of hyponatremia. It usually affects the pontine area; hence, the name central pontine myelinolysis (CPM). However, it rarely occurs with the correction of hypernatremia and hyperosmolarity and involves extrapontine areas. A 56-year-old chronic alcoholic had been admitted with a history of confusion. He had been in alcohol withdrawal for 4 days. Laboratory examinations showed severe hypernatremia and hyperosmolarity. After serum sodium level was normalized; however, his clinical course did not improve and deteriorated to semicoma progressively. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed abnormal signal intensity in the pontine and extrapontine areas, including the basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebral cortices. This is the first case report of combined central pontine and extrapontine demyelination after alcohol withdrawal and correction of hypernatremia in a chronic alcoholic.


Basal Ganglia; Myelinolysis Central Pontine; Alcoholics; Hypernatremia
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