Paroxysmal sneezing at the onset of lateral medullary syndrome: cause or consequence?
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2007
European Journal of Neurology
Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 461–463, April 2007
How to Cite
Swenson, A. J. and Leira, E. C. (2007), Paroxysmal sneezing at the onset of lateral medullary syndrome: cause or consequence?. European Journal of Neurology, 14: 461–463. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2007.01645.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2007
- Received 15 May 2006 Accepted 18 August 2006
- lateral medullary syndrome;
- Wallenberg's syndrome
Sneezing is known to precede lateral medullary syndrome (LMS). It is usually interpreted as the precipitating cause for a vertebral artery dissection that subsequently causes LMS. Through two case reports and a literature review, we aim to challenge the concept that sneezing at the onset of LMS implies that a dissection is the underlying cause. An 82-year-old man and a 54-year-old man both reported unprovoked explosive pathological sneezing at the onset of the LMS without any delay between sneezing and the other LMS symptoms. Both denied neck trauma or neck pain. There was no conclusive evidence for vertebral artery dissection in either case. Paroxysmal sneezing can be an initial manifestation of lateral medullary ischemia and may not necessarily indicate an underlying vertebral artery dissection as the cause.