Spectrum of lateral medullary syndrome. Correlation between clinical findings and magnetic resonance imaging in 33 subjects.
Computed tomography is insufficient in evaluation of medullary lesions. Although lateral medullary infarction is a relatively common type of cerebrovascular disease, detailed correlation between clinical findings and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has not yet been reported.
We studied 33 consecutive patients with lateral medullary infarction who showed appropriate MRI lesions and correlated their clinical findings with the MRI results.
Gait ataxia (88%), vertigo/dizziness (91%), nausea/vomiting (73%), dysphagia (61%), hoarseness (55%), Horner sign (73%), and facial (85%) and hemibody (94%) sensory changes were frequent clinical findings. MRI results showed that the lesions located in the rostral part of the medulla were usually diagonal band-shaped and were associated with more severe dysphagia, hoarseness, and the presence of facial paresis, whereas the caudal lesions, situated usually in the lateral surface of the medulla, appeared to correlate with more marked vertigo, nystagmus, and gait ataxia. Nausea/vomiting and Horner sign were common regardless of the lesion location, and lesions extending ventromedially correlated with facial sensory change on the contralateral side of the lesion.
Analysis of MRI findings in rostrocaudal and dorsoventral aspects allows us, although not unequivocally, to make anatomicoclinical correlations in the evaluation of patients with lateral medullary stroke syndrome.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association