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Coll Antropol. 2013 Mar;37(1):313-6.

Two different manifestations of locked-in syndrome.

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  • 1University of Rijeka, Rijeka University Hospital Center, Clinic of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Rijeka, Croatia.


Locked-in syndrome (LIS) is an entity that usually occur a consequence of the lesion of ventral part of pons. Etiology of locked-in syndrome can be vascular and nonvascular origin. Locked-in syndrome usually occurs as a consequence of thrombosis of intermedial segment of basilar artery that induces bilateral infarction of the ventrobasal part of the pons. Additionally, LIS can be caused by trauma which often leads to posttraumatic thrombosis of basilar artery. The incidence of locked-in syndrome is still unknown. The basic clinical features of locked-in syndrome are: quadriplegia (a consequence of disruption of corticospinal pathways located in ventral part of pons), different stages of paralysis of mimic musculature, paralysis of pharynx, tongue and palate with mutism and anarthria. The patient can not move, but is conscious and can communicate only by eye movements. Two patients with locked-in syndrome were present in this article. In the first case, the patient had classic locked-in syndrome that was first described by Plum and Posner. Other patient had incomplete form of locket-in syndrome which was first described by Bauer. In these two patients locked-in syndrome occurred as a consequence of trauma. In the first patient locked-in syndrome was caused by direct contusion of ventral part of pons while in other patient locked-in syndrome was a consequence of posttraumatic thrombosis of vertebrobasilar artery. The introduction of anticoagulant therapy, besides the other measures of intensive therapy, has shown complete justification in the second patient. The gradual partial recovery of neurologic deficit has developed in the second patient without any additional complications.

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