Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Brain atrophy in chronic alcoholic patients: a quantitative pathological study.
  1. C Harper,
  2. J Kril


    There are essentially no objective neuropathological data on brain atrophy in chronic alcoholic patients despite numerous neuroradiological studies which show a high incidence of shrinkage or atrophy. Therefore measurements were made of the intracranial volume (ICV) and brain volume (BV) in a necropsy study of 25 chronic alcoholic patients and 44 controls. The pericerebral space (PICS) was calculated according to the formula (formula; see text) The PICS will increase in patients with brain atrophy since the ICV remains constant throughout life. The mean PICS value was 8.3% in controls, 11.3% in the alcoholic group, 14.7% in alcoholics with superimposed Wernicke's encephalopathy (thiamine deficiency) and 16.2% in those alcoholics with associated liver disease. Thus there was a statistically significant loss of brain tissue in chronic alcoholic patients which appeared to be more severe in those with associated nutritional vitamin deficiencies or alcoholic liver disease.

    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.