What is the role of IV glucose in the treatment of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS)?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: Glen L Xiong, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Administration of intravenous glucose to patients who are severely malnourished can exhaust their supply of thiamine and precipitate Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Thus, good practice demands administration of thiamine prior to or simultaneously with glucose infusion in patients at high risk for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. However, emergency care for life-threatening hypoglycemia should not be withheld for thiamine administration.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!