Wernicke encephalopathy in a lung cancer patient receiving home medical care
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 July 2021
Cancer patients often want to spend their final days at home, and it is essential that general practitioners have knowledge of and technical skills related to cancer medicine and symptom relief. Recent clinical studies have revealed that Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) is quite common in cancer patients. However, there have been no reports to date on WE in cancer patients undergoing home medical care.
From a series of cancer patient undergoing home medical care, we reported a patient with lung cancer who developed WE.
An 84-year-old female with lung cancer undergoing home medical care developed an impaired mental state and an attention deficit. Her symptoms fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for delirium. WE was suspected as the patient's food intake had fallen from normal a month previously to somewhere between 50% or just a few mouthfuls. This diagnosis was supported by abnormal serum thiamine and the disappearance of delirium after thiamine administration.
When delirium occurs in cancer patients undergoing home treatment, it is necessary to suspect thiamine deficiency as a potential cause, as appropriate diagnosis and treatment can prevent irreversible brain-related sequelae.
- Case Report
- Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press