Dermatomal Sensory Manifestations in Opalski Syndrome

A 31-year-old Japanese woman presented with sudden-onset unstable gait followed by nuchal pain. A neurological examination revealed right-sided limb weakness and decreased pain and thermal sensation on the left side below the level of the L1 dermatome. A lower lateral medullary infarction with ipsilateral hemiplegia, known as Opalski syndrome, caused by spontaneous vertebral artery dissection was diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging. The spinothalamic tract in the medulla oblongata has a topographic arrangement of sensory fibers, and the dermatomal sensory deficit in this case can be explained in relation to that.