Hiccups associated with lateral medullary syndrome: A case report

Robert B. Nicerson, James W. Atchison, James D. Van Hoose, Don Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We present a case of persistent hiccups (singultus) after a lateral medullary cerebrovascular accident. The patient presented with a two-day history of nausea and vomiting. Clinically, the patient had a loss of pain and temperature on the left side of the face, a loss of pain and temperature on the right side of the trunk, a mild left hemiparesis, and a left-sided ataxia. Nystagmus, diplopia, and hiccups were also evident. A left lateral medullary syndrome in the vascular distribution of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery was diagnosed. Work-up included a magnetic resonance imaging angiogram, which revealed an occlusion v high-grade stenosis of the basilar artery. The patient reported that the most distressing symptom was the chronic hiccups (25/min), which interfered with nutrition, sleep, and activity. While in the acute care hospital, the patient was treated with prochlorperazine, promethazine, and chlorpromazine. Each of these medications was unsuccessful in stopping the hiccups. After a search of the European literature revealed that baclofen was recommended as the drug of choice for stopping persistent hiccups, the patient was given 5 mg of baclofen by mouth three times per day, and the hiccups abated within 48 hours. The baclofen was discontinued after one week of therapy, and the hiccups did not return. We recommend consideration of baclofen for the treatment of persistent hiccups after lateral medullary syndrome because of its desirable side effects and reported success rate compared with other drugs used to treat chronic hiccups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-146
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


  • Baclofen
  • Hiccups
  • Lateral Medullary Syndrome
  • Singultus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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