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April 1969

Paroxysmal Torticollis in Infancy: A Possible Form of Labyrinthitis

Author Affiliations

New Orleans
From the Department of Pediatrics, Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans.

Am J Dis Child. 1969;117(4):458-460. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100030460013

IN RECENT years, the author has encountered 12 cases of a strange syndrome heretofore not described in available medical literature. The condition occurs in infants and consists of recurrent attacks, during which the baby keeps the head tilted to one side, either left or right, and often rotated slightly toward the opposite side (Figure). In some cases there is no distress, the child appearing perfectly content unless the mother attempts to straighten the head, whereupon the baby cries and opposes the attempt. In other cases, the onset of head-tilting is accompanied by vomiting, pallor, and great agitation, after which the baby regains composure but keeps the head tilted for some time, often several days. Eventually the head spontaneously returns to its normal position, and the child appears none the worse for his experience, until again, without apparent reason, the whole process repeats itself. Eventually, after months or years, the attacks

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