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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


LOPEZ GASTON, Osvaldo D. et al. Acute cardiovascular beriberi (shoshin-beriberi). Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2002, vol.62, n.4, pp.331-334. ISSN 0025-7680.

Beriberi (BB), thiamine deficiency, has been described in the Asian literature in the 17th century and is characterized by peripheral neuropathy and muscle weakness, also called «dry» beriberi (BB) to differentiate it from «wet» BB, with essentially cardiovascular manifestations. Wet can be either «classic» wet BB in which signs and symptons of right-sided heart failure with normal or high cardiac output are the presenting features or the «shoshin» BB variant with severe biventricular failure and metabolic acidosis, which must be treated early to prevent the rapid development of low cardiac output failure and sudden death. In this case, we report a 58 year old alcoholic woman who developed dyspnea, oliguria, edema, cardiac failure with high output, metabolic acidosis, renal tubular dysfunction and serum lactate level of 5.6 mEq/L. Neurological examination revealed peripheral neuropathy in the lower legs and cognitive alteration. She was treated with a loading dose of 100 mg of intravenous thyamine and responded with a marked increase in urine output, correction of acidosis, reduction in pulmonary-capillary wedge pressure and a change of the hemodynamic pattern. We conclude that shoshin-BB is uncommonly encountered but not widely recognized. In lactic acidosis and/or hyperdynamic circulation without any other apparent etiology in patients with possible vitamin B1 deficiency, the diagnosis of BB must be considered and thiamine should be administered

Keywords : Beriberi; Shoshin-beriberi; Thiamine; Lactic acidosis; High output cardiac failure; Renal tubular dysfunction.

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