8/16 MR with Dr. Twu: Nitric oxide abuse

A young gentleman admitted with AMS and sensory losses associated with Whippet use (inhaled nitric oxide).  He was started on aggressive B12 supplementation, and ultimately required discharge to a rehabilitation center.
**Inhaled nitric oxide abuse can cause a functional B12 deficiency – patients present with ataxia, decreased sensation, increased spasticity – our patient had a + Romberg
**With treatment and B12 supplementation patients can recover completely
**MRI revealed increased hyper intensity in the dorsal column
**Both serum homocysteine and MMA levels are elevated
**Keep this in the differential dx for young patient’s presenting with sensory loss – ASK about drug use

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