Hiccup-like segmental myoclonus in thoracic compressive myelopathy: A case report

C. N. Lee, S. H. Baek, K. W. Park, B. J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Study design: A case report. Objectives: This study discusses a case of spinal segmental myoclonus caused by thoracic myelopathy, mimicking hiccup spasms. Spinal myoclonus caused by thoracic myelopathy is extremely rare. It can be misdiagnosed as chronic intractable hiccups due to similar clinical manifestations. Setting: Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Methods: A 42-year-old man presented with a history of involuntary jerky movement of the upper abdominal wall muscles that had been continuing for over 3 years. A neurological examination, brain computed tomography and electroencephalogram did not reveal a cause of the symptoms. Electromyography was performed on the abdominal muscles and the findings revealed were compatible with spinal myoclonus. The spinal myoclonus had started in the abdominal muscles, with a spinal magnetic resonance imaging revealing a disc protrusion compressing the anterior spinal cord. Results: The cause of the spinal myoclonus was determined to be spinal myelopathy due to mild T7 disc protrusion. The patient refused surgical or invasive interventions and was conservatively treated with clonazepam. The symptoms were reported to be less frequent following the treatment. Conclusion: Compressive myelopathy developed from disc protrusion may cause spinal myoclonus mimicking as hiccup spasms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S16-S18
JournalSpinal Cord
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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