Study Title:

Thiamine deficiency disorders: a clinical perspective.

Study Abstract

Thiamine is an essential water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in energy metabolism. Thiamine deficiency presents many challenges to clinicians, in part due to the broad clinical spectrum, referred to as thiamine deficiency disorders (TDDs), affecting the metabolic, neurologic, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal systems. Concurrent illnesses and overlapping signs and symptoms with other disorders can further complicate this. As such, TDDs are frequently misdiagnosed and treatment opportunities missed, with fatal consequences or permanent neurologic sequelae. In the absence of specific diagnostic tests, a low threshold of clinical suspicion and early therapeutic thiamine is currently the best approach. Even in severe cases, rapid clinical improvement can occur within hours or days, with neurological involvement possibly requiring higher doses and a longer recovery time. Active research aims to help better identify patients with thiamine-responsive disorders and future research is needed to determine effective dosing regimens for the various clinical presentations of TDDs. Understanding the clinical diagnosis and global burden of thiamine deficiency will help to implement national surveillance and population-level prevention programs, with education to sensitize clinicians to TDDs. With concerted effort, the morbidity and mortality related to thiamine deficiency can be reduced.

Study Information

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2021 Aug;1498(1):9-28. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14536. Epub 2020 Dec 10. PMID: 33305487; PMCID: PMC8451766.

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