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Orthostatic mesodiencephalic dysfunction after decompressive craniectomy
  1. Philippe Bijlenga1,
  2. Daniel Zumofen1,
  3. Hasan Yilmaz2,
  4. Eric Creisson3,
  5. Nicolas de Tribolet1
  1. 1Clinic of Neurosurgery, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland
  2. 2Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland
  3. 3Neurology, Camille Blanc Hôpital, Hôpitaux du Leman, Evian, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Bijlenga
 Geneva University Hospital, Clinic of Neurosurgery, 24 rue Micheli-du-Crest, CH-1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland; philippe.bijlenga{at}hcuge.ch

Abstract

An extreme syndrome of the trephined after decompressive craniectomy is reported here. The most extensive clinical syndrome observed was established over 4 weeks and consisted of bradypsychia, dysartria, and limb rigidity with equine varus feet predominating on the right. The syndrome was aggravated when the patient was sitting with the sequential appereance over minutes of a typical parkinsonian levodopa-resistant tremor starting on the right side, extending to all four limbs, followed by diplopia resulting from a left abducens nerve palsy followed by a left-sided mydriasis. All signs recovered within 1–2 h after horizontalisation. It was correlated with an orthostatic progressive sinking of the skin flap, MRI and CT scan mesodiencephalic distortion without evidence of parenchymal lesion. Brain stem auditory evoked potential wave III latency increases were observed on the right side on verticalisation of the patient. EEG exploration excluded any epileptic activity. Symptoms were fully recovered within 2 days after cranioplasty was performed. The cranioplasty had to be removed twice due to infection. Bradypsychia, speech fluency, limb rigidity and tremor reappeared within a week after removal of the prosthesis. While waiting for sterilisation of the operative site, the symptoms were successfully prevented by a custom-made transparent suction-cup helmet before completion of cranioplasty.

  • BAEP, brain stem auditory evoked potential

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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