Article Text

Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect
Subthalamic nucleus stimulation in Parkinson’s disease is associated with a risk of fixed epiglottis
  1. H Kataoka,
  2. Maya Yanase,
  3. Makoto Kawahara,
  4. Hidehiro Hirabayashi,
  5. Toshiaki Yamanaka,
  6. Makito Hirano,
  7. Satoshi Ueno
  1. Nara Medical University, 840 Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara, 634–8522, Japan
  1. hk55{at}


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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