Orthostatic hypotension associated with dorsal medullary cavernous angioma

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Abstract

Background

Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a rare manifestation of medulla oblongata lesions that may be because of interruption of descending sympathoexcitatory axons.

Aims

To illustrate the location of a medullary lesion that produced OH following resection in relationship to the location of putative sympathoexcitatory pathways.

Method

A case with dorsal medullary cavernous angioma presenting with OH is described. The possible localization of lesion was compared with distribution of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive axons in a comparable section of the medulla of a control brain.

Results

The patient had marked OH after partial removal of the cavernous angioma. Biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. The magnetic resonance imaging location of the lesion overlapped that of TH-immunoreactive axons of the medullary transtegmental tract.

Conclusions

A restricted lesion of medullary lesion interrupting the catecholaminergic transtegmental tract arising from the sympathoexcitatory C1 neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla could result in severe OH.

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