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Abstract Details

Just supplement Thiamine! A simple yet dramatic solution!
General Neurology
P9 - Poster Session 9 (5:30 PM-6:30 PM)

55-year-old female with acute-on-chronic, rapidly progressive numbness and weakness. She first noted numbness and tingling in her feet over 8 years ago, but with rapid progression over the past year up to her trunk and hands. She presented to the ER after falling in the house, laying on the floor for hours, unable to be lifted by her husband. Examination revealed several bruises, symmetric wasting of upper and lower extremity muscles, proximal greater than distal weakness, loss of pinprick, vibration and temperature sensation from toes up to the thighs. She was areflexic with bowel and bladder incontinence and urine retention of 1L on arrival. She gave a history of excessive alcohol intake since her teenage years, with a heavy increase in intake over the COVID pandemic due to loss of employment and depression.

Low folic acid, ESR 72, CT abdomen notable for steatohepatitis, fecal loading and urine retention. CSF analysis showed no albumino-cytological dissociation.

Autoimmune workup, RPR, B12, serum copper, CSF paraneoplastic panel, CT chest, MRI brain and complete spine were unremarkable.

EMG/NCV showed moderate, length dependent, sensory-motor axonal polyneuropathy.

We present a case showing how while the diagnostic process in neuropathy may be long and cumbersome, the solution is usually simple, dramatic and life changing.
She was started on high dose thiamine and folic acid supplementation in hospital. Initially, she was unable to feed herself, turn in bed or sit without support. She slowly recovered, regained continence and can ambulate independently with a walker now. She can play the piano.
Thiamine associated neuropathy or Dry Beri-Beri can present with axonal predominant sensorimotor polyneuropathy that can mimic Guillain Barre Syndrome.  While workup for other etiologies of neuropathy should be simultaneously pursued in alcoholics, thiamine supplementation is a simple treatment that can lead to satisfying and dramatic results.
Bhagyashri Umakant Bhende, MBBS (Albert Einstein Medical Center)
Dr. Bhende has nothing to disclose.
Saman Zafar, MD (Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia) Dr. Zafar has nothing to disclose.
Aparna M. Prabhu, MD Dr. Prabhu has nothing to disclose.
Anishee Shah Undavia, MD (Penn Medicine (Penn Specialty Practices)) Dr. Undavia has nothing to disclose.