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April 1970

Wallenberg's Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC
From the Divisions of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Duke University Medical Center and the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital, Durham, NC.

Arch Neurol. 1970;22(4):379. doi:10.1001/archneur.1970.00480220093012

THE SYNDROME caused by infarction of the posterolateral portion of the medulla oblongata (the lateral medullary plate) is one of the most characteristic of the neurological syndromes following arterial occlusion. It was encountered occasionally by physicians over the years,1 but its existence was firmly established in 1895 by Adolf Wallenberg (1862 to 1949), who published a detailed clinical report of a single case.2

Wallenberg was a physician and neuroanatomist of Danzig who fled Nazi persecution and spent his last years in the United States.3 His expert knowledge of neuroanatomy, based in part on original research, permitted him to make sense of his patient's many symptoms and signs. He deduced the location of the infarct and postulated that it was caused by occlusion of the ipsilateral posterior inferior cerebellar artery. Furthermore, he reviewed several reports of similar cases and described the clinical picture common to all.

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