Babinski-Nageotte's syndrome and Hemimedullary (Reinhold's) syndrome are clinically and morphologically distinct conditions

J Neurol. 2003 Aug;250(8):938-42. doi: 10.1007/s00415-003-1118-9.


A hemimedullary infarction, in which medial and lateral medullary lesions occur simultaneously, is a rare cerebrovascular disease. It has been suggested that the Babinski-Nageotte's syndrome is the classical brainstem syndrome that corresponds to hemimedullary lesion. In this study we compare clinical symptoms and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of two patients exhibiting classical Babinski-Nageotte's syndrome according to the original description with symptoms and MRI data of a patient with clinically complete hemimedullary lesion. Our study shows that Babinski-Nageotte's syndrome is neither clinically nor on MRI identical with hemimedullary lesion. Hypoglossal palsy, an invariable symptom of hemimedullary syndrome, is not part of the Babinski-Nageotte's syndrome according to the original description. Consistent with the original historical report, Babinski- Nageotte's syndrome is a lateral "Wallenbergian" medullary lesion with a spreading of the lesion to the more basal localised pyramidal tract. The clinical features of the hemimedullary syndrome, described in 1894 by Reinhold, and the MRI appearances in our patient with this syndrome are clearly different from other classical brainstem syndromes and should be called Reinhold's syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Stem Infarctions / diagnosis*
  • Brain Stem Infarctions / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Lateral Medullary Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Lateral Medullary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Medulla Oblongata / pathology*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Pyramidal Tracts / pathology
  • Reflex, Babinski / diagnosis*
  • Reflex, Babinski / physiopathology