ContentsSynopsisCodesDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsReferences
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Contributors: Christine Osborne MD, Marilyn Augustine MD
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Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin found in yeast, legumes, pork, brown rice, and cereals. Thiamine deficiency can result in the following disorders:
  • Infantile beriberi – Presents at 2-3 months of age with cardiomegaly, tachycardia, cyanosis, dyspnea, vomiting, and a loud, piercing cry with symptoms secondary to formula lacking thiamine.
  • Adult beriberi, dry – Symmetrical distal extremity peripheral neuropathy characterized by both sensory and motor impairment.
  • Adult beriberi, wet – Neuropathy plus evidence of cardiac involvement with cardiomegaly, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and peripheral edema.
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome – Wernicke encephalopathy is a triad of nystagmus, ophthalmoplegia, and ataxia with associated confusion often found in people with alcohol use disorder who have chronic thiamine deficiency. Korsakoff syndrome refers to the chronic neurologic condition of impaired short-term memory loss and confabulation that is a result of Wernicke encephalopathy.
  • Leigh syndrome – A mitochondrial disorder of progressive subacute necrotizing encephalomyopathy of infancy associated with thiamine deficiency.


E51.11 – Dry beriberi
E51.12 – Wet beriberi

36656008 – Beriberi

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Differential for wet beriberi:
Differential for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome:
Differential for dry beriberi:
Differential for infantile beriberi:

Best Tests

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Last Updated: 11/03/2017
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Beriberi : Cardiomegaly, Neuropathy peripheral, Tachycardia, Anemia, Wide pulse pressure
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