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August 1993

Lateral Medullary Syndrome Following Varicella Infection

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology
Department of Radiology Children's Hospital Harvard Medical School 300 Longwood Ave Boston, MA 02115

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(8):823-825. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160320025013

Sir.—Central nervous system complications of varicella infection have been well documented and involve a spectrum of diseases that includes cerebral and cerebellar encephalitis, encephalomyelitis, polyneuritis, brain purpura, hemorrhagic necrotizing leukoencephalitis, Reye's syndrome, and cerebral infarction.1-3 These consequences of primary varicella infection are rare, and only six cases of delayed hemiparesis in healthy patients have been reported in the English literature.4-6

We report the acute onset of lateral medullary syndrome (Wallenberg's syndrome) in a 6-year-old boy 32 days after a primary varicella infection. Although Wallenberg's syndrome is the most common brain-stem complica

Left, Magnetic resonance imaging, approximately 5 weeks after the varicella infection. Axial T2-weighted image (TR 2000, TE 80, 5-mm slice thickness) at the level of the medulla oblongata. The high T2 signal in the lateral one third of the medulla is readily identified (arrow). Right, Magnetic resonance imaging, 7 months after the presentation,