Extrapontine myelinolysis as presenting manifestation of adrenal failure: A case report

Arunodaya Gujjar, Ali Al-Mamari, P. C. Jacob*, Rajiv Jain, Abdullah Balkhair, Abdullah Al-Asmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hyponatremia is a fairly common metabolic disorder. Hyponatremic myelinolysis is a relatively rare, life threatening complication with poorly understood pathophysiology, varied clinical manifestations and uncertain treatment. This case report highlights the range of clinical and imaging phenomena associated with hyponatremic myelinolysis. Methods: Case report. Result: A middle aged lady presented with an acute delirious state, hypotension and severe hyponatremia on a background of skin hyper-pigmentation and weight loss. Her clinical course evolved to an akinetic-rigid state and later to parkinsonism. Extensive investigations for recognizing a primary neurologic disorder, including brain MRI and CSF analysis were normal, though she had disseminated miliary tuberculosis involving multiple organs. Brain MRI changes characteristic of extrapontine myelinolysis appeared two weeks after the onset of symptoms. The patient recovered completely over several weeks. Conclusion: This case of hyponatremic extrapontine myelinolysis occurred as the presenting manifestation of adrenal failure secondary to disseminated tuberculosis. Extraponine myelinolysis is difficult to diagnose in the context of delayed brain MRI changes and can have a favorable outcome with modern management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-171
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2010


  • Extrapontine myelinolysis
  • Hyponatremic myelinolysis
  • Miliary tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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