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Spinal Cord. 2013 Oct;51(10):794-6. doi: 10.1038/sc.2013.51. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Postpartum hypogalactia in a woman with Brown-Séquard-plus syndrome: a case report.

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  • 11] Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China [2] International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



A case report.


To present a case of postpartum hypogalactia in a woman with Brown-Séquard-plus syndrome (BSPS).


Outpatient spinal cord injury (SCI) clinic.


A 33-year-old woman with C4 AIS D tetraplegia (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale) was followed at the outpatient SCI clinic for the past 5 years. Her right side presents with increased tone, increased spasticity and decreased sensitivity to light touch. Conversely, her left side presents with minimal changes in tone and no motor function deficits, but decreased sensitivity to pinprick and temperature sensation. These findings are consistent with BSPS. After inpatient rehabilitation, she was engaged, married, and 8 months ago delivered a healthy child. After an uncomplicated delivery, breastfeeding was attempted, but a significant lack of lactation was noted the first month postpartum from the right breast. Despite the implementation of measures to increase lactation, the lack of lactation from the right breast persisted, and required initiation of formula feeding. The right breast in this case lost not only sensory proprioception, but also autonomic control, which could contribute to this instance of asymmetric lactation.


In addition to motor and sensory dysfunctions following SCI, autonomic dysfunctions are commonly seen in individuals with these devastating injuries. The lactation on the right side, which had interrupted descending spinal autonomic pathways, was decreased by approximately 83%. This case provides us with interesting information regarding attention that clinicians should be paying when discussing the breastfeeding options for women with SCI.

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