Between Wallenberg syndrome and hemimedullary lesion

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In comparison with the lateral (Wallenberg), medial (Dejerine) and hemimedullary (Reinhold) medulla oblongata syndromes, the Babinski-Nageotte and Cestan-Chenais syndromes are much less familiar cerebrovascular disorders. While the Babinski-Nageotte syndrome is usually confused with the hemimedullary syndrome, reports of the extremely rare Cestan-Chenais syndrome are missing from the modern neurological literature. The pathological and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) correlations of the Cestan-Chenais syndrome have not been shown so far. We compared clinical and MRI features of two patients exhibiting classical Babinski-Nageotte and Cestan-Chenais syndromes according to their original descriptions with those of three patients with lateral, medial and hemimedullary syndromes. Our study shows that Babinski-Nageotte syndrome includes all symptoms of the Wallenberg syndrome and additionally contralateral hemiparesis due to a spreading of the “Wallenbergian” lateral lesion to the pyramidal tract. The Cestan-Chenais syndrome includes all symptoms of the Babinski-Nageotte syndrome with the exception of the ipsilateral cerebellary hemiataxia because of sparing of the posterior spinocerebellar tract. The Babinski-Nageotte syndrome is neither clinically nor on MRI identical with hemimedullary syndrome. Hypoglossal palsy, an invariable symptom of hemimedullary lesion is not part of the Babinski-Nageotte syndrome. The contralateral hypesthesia is dissociated in the Babinski-Nageotte syndrome. The Babinski-Nageotte and Cestan-Chenais syndromes are intermediolateral medullary syndromes with all (Babinski-Nageotte) or nearly all (Cestan-Chenais) features of the lateral and some features of the medial medulla oblongata syndromes.

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