Orthostatic mesodiencephalic dysfunction after decompressive craniectomy

Bijlenga, Philippe; Zumofen, Daniel; Yilmaz, Hasan; Creisson, Eric; de Tribolet, Nicolas
April 2007
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry;Apr2007, Vol. 78 Issue 4, p430
Academic Journal
An extreme syndrome of the trephined after decompressive craniectomy is reported here. The most extensive clinical syndrome observed was established over 4 weeks and consisted of bradypsychia, dysartria, and limb rigidity with equine varus feet predominating on the right. The syndrome was aggravated when the patient was sitting with the sequential appereance over minutes of a typical parkinsonian levodopa-resistant tremor starting on the right side, extending to all four limbs, followed by diplopia resulting from a left abducens nerve palsy followed by a left-sided mydriasis. All signs recovered within 1–2 h after horizontalisation. It was correlated with an orthostatic progressive sinking of the skin flap, MRI and CT scan mesodiencephalic distortion without evidence of parenchymal lesion. Brain stem auditory evoked potential wave III latency increases were observed on the right side on verticalisation of the patient. EEG exploration excluded any epileptic activity. Symptoms were fully recovered within 2 days after cranioplasty was performed. The cranioplasty had to be removed twice due to infection. Bradypsychia, speech fluency, limb rigidity and tremor reappeared within a week after removal of the prosthesis. While waiting for sterilisation of the operative site, the symptoms were successfully prevented by a custom-made transparent suction-cup helmet before completion of cranioplasty.


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