The medial medullary infarction (Dejerine syndrome) following chiropractic neck manipulation

Jun Ichi Yokota, Yayoi Amakusa, Yutaka Tomita, Shin Ichi Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A-38-year-old man suddenly developed nausea, vomiting and vertigo during chiropractic neck manipulation. This was followed by right hemiplegia, right deep sensory disturbance and left hypoglossal nerve palsy, consistent with the medial medullary infarction (Dejerine syndrome). The MRI revealed infarction at left medial part of the medulla. The vertebral angiogram and MRA showed marked narrowing of the left vertebral artery. X-rays of the cervical spine showed no spondylosis, dislocation nor osteolysis of the odontoid process. The serological studies, including lupus anticoagulant, protein C, and protein S gave normal results. Although vascular accidents involving the brain stem after chiropractic neck manipulation have been reported since Pratt-Thomas and Berger, previous reports are still rare. In them lateral medullary infarction (Wallenberg syndrome) is probably the most common case. On the other hand, medial medullary syndrome (Dejerine syndrome) is absolutely rare. To our knowledge, the only one report has been made by Watanabe and his colleagues before our present case. The mechanism was suggested that rotation and tilting of the neck stretches and compresses the vertebral artery at the cervical joint causing injury to the vessel, with an intimal tearing, dissection, and pseudoaneurysm formation. Consequently, the present case may be caused by injury to the left vertebral artery with an intimal tearing during neck manipulation sufficient to cause dissection and subsequent infarction of the brain stem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
JournalBrain and Nerve
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Chiropractic cervical manipulation
  • Dejerine's syndrome
  • Magnetic resonance angiography(MRA)
  • Medial medullary infarction
  • Vertebral artery dissection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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