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November 1994

Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia Associated With Cardiac Syncope and Weight Loss

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine B, Bnai Zion Medical Center, and the Technion Faculty of Medicine, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120(11):1283-1286. doi:10.1001/archotol.1994.01880350089016

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is an uncommon condition that has rarely been described in association with syncope and never with significant weight loss. A 50-year-old previously healthy woman presented with a 3-month history of episodic brief attacks of pain in the left side of her throat that were precipitated by swallowing. The spells gradually became more severe and progressed to loss of consciousness several times a day. Because of the severe pain and the recurrent episodes of syncope, the patient refused to eat and drink almost everything and thus she lost 6 kg in 2 weeks. During a typical episode of attacks, electrocardiographic monitoring demonstrated severe bradycardia and asystole for 4 seconds. Carbamazepine therapy (600 mg/d) completely abolished the pharyngeal pain and the associated cardiac manifestations for at least 12 months, thereby enabling rapid restoration of the lost weight.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120:1283-1286)

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