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Isabel Fernández-Conejero and Vedran Deletis

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Chika Somagawa, Tomonori Ono, Ryoko Honda, Hiroshi Baba, Takeshi Hiu, Ryujiro Ushijima, Keisuke Toda, Kei Sato, Masahiro Ito and Keisuke Tsutsumi

Lhermitte-Duclos disease (LDD) is a neurological disease caused by a hamartomatous lesion in the cerebellum. Clinically, LDD is commonly associated with progressive space-occupying lesion effects in the posterior fossa, increasing intracranial pressure, occlusive hydrocephalus, and focal neurological deficits of adjacent structures. The authors report the case of a 10-year-old boy with LDD who had been suffering from vomiting attacks (VAs). These VAs had been brief in duration but extremely frequent, and they had been resistant to antiemetic drugs since the early postnatal period. Magnetic resonance imaging at 8 months of age revealed a right cerebellar lesion with very little space-occupying lesion effect, but the causal relationship with VAs was not evident at that point, because no clinical symptoms or signs other than vomiting were suggestive of increased intracranial pressure. The VAs were initially diagnosed as autonomic ataxia and had been treated with antiemetic drugs for approximately 10 years, but the patient’s symptoms were not improved at all in frequency or duration. He developed convulsive seizures at 9 years of age and was referred to the authors’ epilepsy center. The VAs were initially speculated to represent an aspect of seizures, but antiepileptic agents proved ineffective against this symptom despite remission of convulsive seizures. Video-electroencephalography monitoring did not show any evolving ictal patterns associated with the vomiting. Careful reevaluation of MRI studies revealed that the cerebellar lesion was fused with the cerebellum, middle and inferior cerebellar peduncles, and dorsolateral medulla oblongata with some distortion. FDG-PET identified hypermetabolism in the cerebellar lesion. After establishing the diagnosis of LDD, the authors performed subtotal resection of the lesion based on the likelihood of a causal relationship between the cerebellar lesion and the vomiting center of the medulla oblongata. Postoperatively and for 2 years, VAs have remained completely suppressed. The authors hypothesize that the pathophysiology of VAs in LDD includes a tumor-like space-occupying effect on the vomiting center of the medulla oblongata, and even partial resection of the lesion may prove effective.