Tapia's syndrome: pathogenetic mechanisms, diagnostic management, and proper treatment: a case series.J Med Case Rep. 2016 Jan 25; 10:23.JM
Tapia's syndrome is an uncommon disease described in 1904 by Antonio Garcia Tapia, a Spanish otolaryngologist. It is characterized by concomitant paralysis of the hypoglossal (XIIth) and pneumogastric (Xth) nerves. Only 69 cases have been described in the literature. Typically, the reported patients presented with a history of orotracheal intubation. Common symptoms are dysphonia, tongue deviation toward the affected side, lingual motility disturbance, and swallowing difficulty.
In the report, we describe three cases of Tapia's syndrome in three Caucasian patients who underwent surgery with general anesthesia. Two of these patients underwent neck abscess drainage, and the third had an open reduction of a shoulder fracture. The clinical symptoms of Tapia's syndrome appeared after extubation. All three of our patients recovered their lost function at 3 months after diagnosis.
We underline the importance of performing airway endoscopy and a specific program of swallowing rehabilitation for the proper management of Tapia's syndrome.