Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Central pontine myelinolysis secondary to hyperglycaemia
  1. Harry Donnelly1,
  2. Steve Connor2,
  3. Jennifer Quirk3
  1. 1King's College London School of Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Neuroradiology, King's College Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Neurology, Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington, Kent, UK
  1. Correspondence to Harry Donnelly, King's College London School of Medicine, 101 Cranworth Gardens, London SW9 0NT, UK; harry.donnelly{at}


Central pontine myelinolysis is characterised by focal osmotic demyelination within the pons. Its clinical presentation varies, but may include acute paralysis, dysarthria and dysphagia. The cause is traditionally associated with overzealous correction of hyponatraemia in patients who are malnourished, alcoholic or chronically ill. However, it may develop in the context of normal serum sodium, since rapid gradient shifts in brainstem osmolalities can occur in other ways. We present an unusual example of central pontine myelinolysis caused by osmotic shifts secondary to hyperglycaemia in a person with type 1 diabetes mellitus and with consistently normal serum sodium concentrations.


Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors HD contributed the text for the case report and discussion sections, which were edited by JQ. SC selected and described the images.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed. This paper was reviewed by Roswell Martin, Gloucester, UK.

Other content recommended for you