Lateral medullary syndrome, (or Wallenberg syndrome) is an acute ischemic infarct due to occlusion of the vessels supplying the lateral medulla oblongata; most commonly occlusion of intracranial portion of the vertebral artery followed by PICA and its branches 1-3. This syndrome is characterised by:
- vestibulocerebellar symptoms: vertigo, falling towards the side of lesion, diplopia, and multidirectional nystagmus (inferior cerebellar peduncle and vestibular nucleus) 1-3
- autonomic dysfunction: ipsilateral Horner's syndrome, hiccups 1-3
- sensory symptoms: initially abnormal stabbing pain over the ipsilateral face then loss of pain and temperature sensation over the contralateral side of body (spinal trigeminal nucleus involvement) 1-3
- ipsilateral bulbar muscle weakness: hoarseness, dysphonia, dysphagia, and dysarthria, decreased gag reflex (nucleus ambiguus) 1-3
History and etymology
The syndrome was first described by Adolf Wallenberg (1862-1949), a German physician, in 1895 4.
- 1. Afifi AK, Bergman RA, Bergman RA. Functional neuroanatomy, text and atlas. McGraw-Hill Professional. (1998) ISBN:0070015899. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Kim JS. Pure lateral medullary infarction: clinical-radiological correlation of 130 acute, consecutive patients. Brain. 2003;126 (8): 1864-72. doi:10.1093/brain/awg169 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Ropper AH, Samuels MA, Klein JP. Adams and Victor's principles of neurology 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Pub. Division; 2014.
- 4. Wallenberg A. Acute bulbar affection . Arch Psychiatr Nervenheilkd . 1895;27:504-540.