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Beriberi(wet)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

This form of beriberi is characterised by oedema.

The aetiology of the oedema is twofold:

  • lactate and pyruvate accumulate in the blood and cause vasodilatation and increased extravasation of fluid into the tissues
  • the cardiomyopathy of thiamine deficiency causes heart failure

Clinically, the patient has warm, oedematous peripheries with a fast, bounding pulse. Central venous pressure is raised but cardiac output falls, resulting in heart failure. The ECG may show conduction abnormalities.


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