Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Brief Clinical Note

Tapia's syndrome following transesophageal echocardiography during an open-heart operation: a case report

Satoru Fujiwara, M.D.1), Hajime Yoshimura, M.D., Ph.D.1), Kenta Nishiya, M.D.2), Keiichi Oshima, M.D.3), Michi Kawamoto, M.D.1) and Nobuo Kohara, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital
2)Cardiovascular Surgery, Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital
3)Anesthesiology, Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital

A 67-year-old man presented with hoarseness, dysarthria and deviation of the tongue to the left side the day after the open-heart operation under general anesthesia. Brain MRI demonstrated no causal lesion, and laryngoscope showed left vocal cord abductor palsy, so we diagnosed him with Tapia's syndrome (i.e., concomitant paralysis of the left recurrent and hypoglossal nerve). His neurological symptoms recovered gradually and improved completely four months after the onset. Tapia's syndrome is a rare condition caused by the extra cranial lesion of the recurrent laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve and the hypoglossal nerve, and mostly described as a complication of tracheal intubation. In this case, transesophageal echo probe has been held in the left side of the pharynx, so compression to the posterior wall of pharynx by the probe resulted in this condition, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Tapia's syndrome due to transesophageal echocardiography during an open-heart operation. This rare syndrome should be considered as a differential diagnosis of dysarthria and tongue deviation after a procedure associated with compression to the pharynx.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (401K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 57: 785|787, 2017)
key words: Tapia's syndrome, recurrent nerve palsy, hypoglossal nerve palsy, transesophageal echocardiography, compression neuropathy

(Received: 8-Sep-17)