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Article
August 1997

Central Pontine Myelinolysis in a Patient With Classic Heat Stroke

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass
Chicago
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine University of Chicago 5841 S Maryland Ave MC 6076 Chicago, IL 60637

Arch Neurol. 1997;54(8):935-936. doi:10.1001/archneur.1997.00550200005002
Abstract

The 1995 Chicago heat wave, with temperatures ranging from 33.9°C to 40.0°C (heat index, 37.8°C-46.1°C) for 5 consecutive days, caused numerous hospital admissions for classic heat stroke and 518 heat-related deaths.1 Classic heat stroke occurs frequently in the elderly, urban poor during periods of high ambient temperature2 and is characterized by a body temperature of more than 40.6°C, hot, dry skin, and functional disturbance of the central nervous system, including lethargy, stupor, and coma.3,4 Central pontine myelinolysis (CPM) is a disorder characterized by symmetrical demyelination distributed about the midline in the basis pontis.5 The major clinical manifestations of a significant central basis pontine lesion are ocular and pupillary paralysis, dysarthria, quadriparesis, and incontinence.6 Central pontine myelinolysis usually is associated with excessively rapid correction of hyponatremia.

Report of a Case.  A 79-year-old African American woman with a history of mild arthritis and remote alcohol use, receiving

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