Podcast #139:  Locked-in Syndrome - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast #139:  Locked-in Syndrome

Run Time:  3 minutes


Author: Eric Miller M.D.

Educational Pearls:

  • A patient presented with acute quadriplegia, dysarthria, and visual changes. This could be indicate a psychiatric issue, a traumatic high spinal cord or brainstem injury, or a basilar artery thrombosis.
  • Due to the anatomy of the basilar artery, a thrombosis would affect both sides of the body simultaneously. The mortality rate is 80-90% without treatment, and with treatment of TPA the mortality is 30-40%.
  • With a high basilar artery thrombosis, you can still move the eyes, but lose motor function in your body and lower face causing what is know as locked-in syndrome.

References: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC549115/

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