[A case report of central respiratory failure due to hemimedullary syndrome].Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 2000 Jul; 40(7):746-9.RS
A hemimedullary infarction, in which both medial and lateral medullary infarctions occur simultaneously, is a rare cerebrovascular disease. Pontomedullary lesions often cause central respiratory failure, and the majority of central respiratory failures are due to bilateral pontomedullary lesions. We report a 66-year-old man with central respiratory failure due to a hemimedullary infarction detected by magnetic resonance imaging. He was admitted to our hospital on March 7, 1998, because of a sudden onset of dysarthria, and both numbness and weakness on his left side. Soon after arriving at the hospital, his spontaneous respiration ceased. Therefore, he was intubated and artificial ventilation was started. Pertinent neurological abnormalities on admission consisted of dysarthria, dysphagia, right Horner's sign, right gaze evoked horizontal nystagmus, right soft palate palsy, and tongue deviation to the right. In addition, left hemiparesis, left Babinski's sign, sensory impairment on the left side including the face, and central respiratory failure were noted. Although voluntary respiration recovered in 12 days, sleep apnea continued for 5 months, which was considered to be due to the automatic respiratory failure. An important feature of this patient was that the hemimedullary infarction caused the central respiratory failure. To our knowledge, this is the third patient whose central respiratory failure occurred because of a hemimedullary infarction.