Background: Clinical features of medullary infarction were compared between patients with lateral medullary infarction and medial medullary infarction
Methods: Thirty-seven patients with medullary infarction (29 with lateral medullary infarction and 8 with medial medullary infarction) who were admitted to our center between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2010 were examined. Background factors, neurologic signs and symptoms, imaging findings, cause of disease, and outcomes were assessed for patients with lateral and those with medial medullary infarction.
Results: Examination of the clinical symptoms and neurologic findings suggested that among patients with medial medullary infarction, few demonstrated all of the symptoms of Dejerine syndrome at onset, and many had lesions that were difficult to locate based only on neurologic findings. Both lateral and medial medullary infarction were frequently caused by atherothrombosis. However, cerebral artery dissection was observed in 31% of patients with lateral medullary infarction and 12.5% of those with medial medullary infarction. In 13% of patients with lateral and 37% of patients with medial medullary infarction, magnetic resonance imaging diffusion-weighted images on the day of onset did not show abnormalities, and the second set of diffusion-weighted images confirmed infarction lesions. For lateral medullary infarction, a more rostral lesion location was correlated with a poorer 90-day outcome. For medial medullary infarction, a more dorsal lesion location was correlated with a poorer 90-day outcome.
Conclusions: The diagnosis rate of medullary infarction using imaging examinations at onset--particularly medial medullary infarction--is not necessarily high. The imaging examinations need to be repeated for patients who are suspected to have medullary infarction based on neurologic signs and symptoms.
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