Lege Artis Medicinae

[Episodes from the History of Self-Experimentation in Medicine]

MAGYAR László András

JANUARY 20, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(01)

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After carpal tunnel surgery, some patients report complaints such as edema, pain, and numbness. Purpose – The aim of this study was to evaluate autonomic nervous system function in patients with a history of carpal tunnel surgery using sympathetic skin response (SSR). Thirty three patients (55 ±10 years old) with a history of unilateral operation for carpal tunnel syndrome were included in the study. The SSR test was performed for both hands. Both upper extremities median and ulnar nerve conduction results were recorded. A reduced amplitude (p=0.006) and delayed latency (p<0.0001) were detected in the SSR test on the operated side compared to contralateral side. There was no correlation between SSR and carpal tunnel syndrome severity. Although complex regional pain syndrome does not develop in patients after carpal tunnel surgery, some of the complaints may be caused by effects on the autonomic nervous system.

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The syndrome of headache with neurologic deficits and cerebrospinal fluid lymphocytosis (HaNDL) is a rare entity. This disease has been related to migrainous headaches. It is a benign, self-limited disorder, which is characterized by fluctuating neurological symptoms and cerebrospinal fluid lymphocytosis. We describe a case of a 47 years old man with acute onset of headache and aphasia. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed a lymphocytic pleocytosis (25 cells/μl, 100% lymphocytes). Electroencephalogram showed moderate slow rhythm in the left hemisphere, with temporoparietal predominance, and without epileptiform activity. His blood tests as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results were normal. With the diagnosis of HaNDL syndrome the patient was accepted in the Department of Neurology and discharged with full recovery.

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Introduction – Although the involvement of the hypoglossal nerve together with other cranial nerves is common in several pathological conditions of the brain, particularly the brainstem, isolated hypoglossal nerve palsy is a rare condition and a diagnostic challenge. Case presentation – The presented patient arrived to the hospital with a history of slurred speech and an uncomfortable sensation on his tongue. Neurological examination showed left-sided hemiatrophy of the tongue with fasciculations and deviation towards the left side during protrusion. Based on the clinical and MRI findings, a diagnosis of hypoglossal nerve schwannoma was made. Discussion – Hypoglossal nerve palsy may arise from multiple causes such as trauma, infections, neoplasms, and endocrine, autoimmune and vascular pathologies. In our case, the isolated involvement of the hypoglossal nerve was at the skull base segment, where the damage to the hypoglossal nerve may occur mostly due to metastasis, nasopharyngeal carcinomas, nerve sheath tumors and glomus tumors. Conclusion – Because of the complexity of the region’s anatomy, the patient diagnosed with hypoglossal nerve schwannoma was referred for gamma knife radiosurgery.