Lateral medullary syndrome

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 nucleus1-3
  • 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 ambiguus1-3

History and etymology

The syndrome was first described by Adolf Wallenberg (1862-1949), a German physician, in 1895 4.

See also

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Article information

rID: 12193
Section: Syndromes
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Wallenberg syndrome
  • Wallenberg's syndrome
  • Lateral medullary syndrome

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