Intractable hiccups. (singultus)

Laryngoscope. 1980 Oct;90(10 Pt 1):1612-8.


Intractable hiccups (singultus) is an uncommon disorder with various etiologies. The majority of reported studies of intractable hiccups has claimed ipsilateral spasm of the hemidiaphragm based solely on clinical or radiographic evidence. A case of intractable hiccups is presented. Documentation of normal phrenic nerve latencies with bilateral synchronous firing of anterior scalene, intercostal muscles and bilateral hemidiaphragm involvement is presented. This combination of muscle group involvement supports the concept of a "supraspinal hiccup center." A systematic trial of chemotherapeutic agents described as effective against hiccups was employed. Relief lasting for three to four week periods has been obtained by the intravenous administration of a specially prepared sterile solution of methylphenidate. The nerve pathways pertinent to hiccup are discussed. The etiology of intractable hiccups and the various treatment modalities are presented.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain Stem / physiopathology
  • Electromyography
  • Hiccup / drug therapy*
  • Hiccup / etiology
  • Hiccup / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / innervation


  • Methylphenidate