Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2020;9(2):119-122. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2020.01021)

Efficacy of trazodone for treating paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity presenting after left temporal subcortical hemorrhage

Morinaga Y, Nii K, Hanada H, Sakamoto K, Inoue R, Mitsutake T


Paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity (PSH) is a clinical condition characterized by abnormal paroxysmal surges in sympathetic nervous system activity. PSH is known to occur after severe head injury and hypoxic encephalopathy. Cases of PSH that develop after stroke have been reported worldwide; however, PSH is not commonly reported in the field of stroke research in Japan. Some studies have suggested that gabapentin may improve the symptoms of PSH. To our knowledge, this is the first case report demonstrating the efficacy of trazodone for the treatment of PSH that developed after temporal subcortical hemorrhage. A 49-year-old woman presented to our clinic with mild confusion and sensory aphasia after experiencing left temporal subcortical hemorrhage; a conservative treatment was initiated at our hospital. Immediately upon hospitalization, she developed prolonged consciousness disorder, high fever, tachycardia, malignant hypertension, tachypnea, constipation, and overactive bladder. The patient's symptoms improved after the administration of trazodone. She was diagnosed with PSH after intracranial hemorrhage and was subsequently transferred to a recovery and rehabilitation hospital unit where the oral administration of trazodone continued. Prolonged PSH contributes significantly to the impairment of daily activities in patients with stroke; therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are critical. Here, we report on the efficacy of trazodone as an effective treatment option for improving clinical outcomes and reducing the stay in the stroke care unit.

KEYWORDS: paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity, temporal subcortical hemorrhage, trazodone

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