Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) alleviates motor disability of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Mental changes and other adverse events are common, but typically transient. Severe complications such as intracerebral haemorrhage or infection are rare, but 6 of 73 patients who underwent STN-DBS died of pneumonia, cardiac failure or pulmonary embolism. We describe a patient with PD who had sudden respiratory difficulty due to a fixed epiglottis after STN-DBS. This symptom was confirmed to be related to STN stimulation on fibre-optic examination of the larynx.
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Competing interests: None.
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