Screening and Treating Wernicke's Encephalopathy among Alcoholic Patients in a University Hospital
Lee S ; Lee SY ; Namkoong K. ; Jung YC ; Kim E ; Ha RY
Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association (신경정신의학), Vol.50(4) : 323~328, 2011
Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association (신경정신의학)
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and clinical characteristics of Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) patients in alcoholics and to evaluate the utility of Caine's criteria as a screening test. METHODS: We made an admission note including Caine's criteria and applied it to patients who were admitted to an alcohol treatment unit. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected on 204 alcoholics. Our alcoholics who met more than one of Caine's criteria were considered at risk for WE and were given high-dose thiamine IV therapy. RESULTS: We was diagnosed in 15.2% of the alcoholic patients. Age and head trauma history were risk factors of WE. The sensitivity of Caine's criteria was 97% and specificity was 54%. High-dose thiamine IV therapy appeared to be a safe and cost-effective method to prevent the serious complications of WE. CONCLUSION: Caine's criteria is useful as a screening test for WE among alcoholic patients. High-dose thiamine IV therapy is cost-effective for alcoholic patients who are considered to be at risk for WE.