Clinical communication: Adults| Volume 41, ISSUE 4, e73-e77, October 2011

Shoshin Beriberi Mimicking a High-risk Non-ST-Segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome with Cardiogenic Shock: When the Arteries are Not Guilty


      Background: Cardiac acute beriberi (Shoshin syndrome) is a rare disease that may lead to a fatal outcome if not treated specifically. Objectives: We report a case of Shoshin syndrome with an unusual presentation of cardiogenic shock and an electrocardiographic pattern of severe myocardial ischemia suggesting left main coronary artery obstruction. Case Report: A 35-year-old man presented with chest discomfort, diffuse ST-segment depression in the 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) with ST-segment elevation in aVR, and rapidly evolving congestive heart failure leading to cardiogenic shock. Intensive support was required, including mechanical ventilation, high doses of inotropics and vasopressors, intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation, and continuous renal replacement therapy. An emergency coronary angiogram was performed that showed normal coronary arteries. Right heart catheterization showed a high-output state with elevated filling pressures suggesting high-output heart failure. The echocardiography confirmed normal left and right ventricular contraction. Thiamine deficiency was suspected as the cause of the high-output heart failure. After a single dose of intravenous thiamine (100 mg), the patient's hemodynamic status improved dramatically within minutes, allowing a rapid discontinuation of hemodynamic support. Subsequent ECGs showed complete resolution of ST-segment abnormalities. Serial lactate measurements, red blood cell transketolase activity, and the thiamine pyrophosphate response test were concordant with a thiamine deficiency state. Conclusion: Shoshin syndrome may present as cardiogenic shock with an ECG mimicking severe myocardial ischemia, and if suspected, can be rapidly and effectively treated.


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