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Wallenberg syndrome

Last updated: January 28, 2021

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Wallenberg syndrome is a neurological condition caused by a lateral medullary infarction, which results from occlusion of either the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) or the vertebral artery. For this reason, it is also referred to as lateral medulla syndrome or PICA syndrome. Symptoms include ipsilateral Horner syndrome, palate weakness, hemiataxia, and contralateral sensory disturbances. Management is supportive, and may include swallowing and speech therapy, as well as a feeding tube in some cases.

Overview [1]
Clinical features Structure affected
Ipsilateral
  • Vertigo (with falling towards the same side of the lesion) → vomiting
  • Nystagmus that changes direction with gaze change diplopia
  • Facial pain [2]
  • Loss of pain and temperature in the face
Contralateral
  • Loss of pain and temperature in the trunk and limbs
  1. Wallenberg's Syndrome Information Page. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Wallenbergs-Syndrome-Information-Page. . Accessed: March 30, 2017.
  2. Sabine Fitzek, Ulf Baumgärtner, Jürgen Marx, Felix Joachimski, Hubertus Axer, Otto W. Witte, Clemens Fitzek. Chapter 15 Pain and itch in Wallenberg's syndrome: anatomical–functional correlations. Elsevier ; 2006 : p. 187-194
  3. Diplopia in Wallenberg's syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15199730. Updated: January 1, 2004. Accessed: March 30, 2017.