Author(s): Shibata K, Otuka K, Nishimura Y, Kondo H, Ikeda N,
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Abstract A 52-year-old male presented with right sudden deafness and left isolated limb sensory disturbance following posterior neck pain. An examination revealed a mild degree of right sensory neural hearing loss and decreased pain and thermal sensation in the left side below the L3 level. Brain MRI showed a small lesion in the midlateral portion of the right middle-rostral medulla. The combination of the image findings suggests a right lateral medullary infarction caused by a vertebral artery (VA) dissection. In our case, the fibers carrying the modalities of the lateral spinothalamic tract restricted to below the L3 level, sparing other sensations, suggest a selective involvement. This finding suggests that sensory dermatomal representation in the modality may be preserved at least up to the level of the medulla oblongata. Moreover, in our case, the small emboli originating from the dissected VA possibly caused a small selective cochlear infarction. This type of embolism may give rise to various combinations of symptoms depending on the branches involved. For patients with an acute onset of headache or neck pain who present with isolated limb sensory disturbance accompanied by sudden deafness, even without the classical brainstem signs, a VA dissection and medullary infarction should therefore be considered.
This article was published in J Neurol Sci
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy