What is the role of CT scanning in the diagnosis of Wernicke encephalopathy (WE)?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Philip N Salen, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

A head CT scan is an essential initial test for emergency diagnosis of focal neurologic disease, such as intracerebral hemorrhage. In patients who are comatose, CT scan can detect not only intracranial lesions but also fractures of the skull and minute amounts of blood. However, with a reported 13% sensitivity for WE, CT of the head does not appear to be useful in screening for WE. [13]


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