A 30-year-old homeless woman with a past history of postpartum depression 2 years ago, presented in an acute confusional state. She had been binge-drinking in the last year. Four weeks preceding admission, she started massive daily intake of commercially available pure alcohol (70%–90%), approximately 250–300 ml /day, or 175–270 mg/day, leading to emergency hospitalization on two occasions. She was aggressive, and showed massive generalized hypertonicity, with hyperactive reflexes. The cranial nerves were intact. No signs of meningeal irritation was noticed. Laboratory results (cerebrospinal fluid assay, metabolic panel) were normal, with exception of hypochromic macrocytic anemia (hemoglobin: 98 g/L, mean globular volume: 110 fL) and mild elevation of hepatic enzymes (alanine transaminase: 66 units/L; aspartate transaminase: 55 units/L). The electroencephalogram showed lentification of the cerebral activity. Brain cranial tomography (CT) was unremarkable. Brain MRI on T2W, DWI, and FLAIR images showed hypersignal of corpus callosum, without water restriction. On T1W and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), the lesion appeared hypointense (Figure 1). Based on the history of alcohol abuse in association with the imaging findings, the diagnosis of MBD was made. Despite supportive measures, intravenous vitamin B complex, and methylprednisolone, she died a week later.
FIGURE 1.Axial T2 Flair [a] and Sagittal T2 [b], Showing a Hyperintense Lesion in the Corpus Callosum, More Intense in the Splenium, Isointense in T1 Without Contrast Enhancement [c]. Diffusion-Weighted MRI Sequences [d, e] Demonstrate the Absence of Restricted Diffusion.