Central pontine myelinolysis: case series and review

A Kenneth Musana, Steven H Yale
WMJ: Official Publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin 2005, 104 (6): 56-60

OBJECTIVE: To review central pontine myelinolysis (CPM) and osmotic demyelination syndrome (ODS) and describe the clinical features, etiologic factors, and clinical outcomes of 6 patients diagnosed with CPM or ODS.

STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective case series.

METHODS: Medical records of patients diagnosed with CPM or ODS at Marshfield Clinic/St. Joseph's Hospital from 1986 to 2003 were reviewed. Chart abstraction was completed with a standardized data abstraction form.

RESULTS: Six patients were identified, ranging in age from 31-73 years (mean age = 51.5 years). Clinical presentations were nonspecific. Common symptoms included lethargy and dysarthria. Five of the 6 patients had chronic alcoholism. All had improvements in their clinical conditions upon hospital discharge.

CONCLUSIONS: CPM and ODS are rare demyelinating diseases of the pons and extrapontine sites. Prompt diagnosis and management of associated complications are essential for favorable clinical outcomes.

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