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Brainstem syndromes 

Brainstem syndromes

Chapter:
Brainstem syndromes
Author(s):

David Bates

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.02409_update_001

Update:

Information on investigations and treatment updated; further reading updated.

A relevant case history from Neurological Case Histories: Case Histories in Acute Neurology and the Neurology of General Medicine has been added to this chapter.

Updated on 28 Nov 2012. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 28 March 2017

Brainstem syndromes typically cause ipsilateral cranial nerve lesions and contralateral long tract signs. They are commonly due to brainstem ischaemia, but can also be caused by neoplasia, demyelination, infective and hamartomatous lesions. Imaging, ideally with MRI rather than CT, is obligatory and only then—and possibly following other investigations to identify systemic abnormality or cerebrospinal fluid changes—can appropriate therapy be introduced.

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