A 12-month-old boy with progressive cranial nerve palsies followed by ventilatory failure demanding artificial ventilation, generalized muscle weakness, and rapid progression to death at the age of 21 months is described. The patient had normal early development and also apparently normal hearing at presentation of illness but, after 6 months of the onset of the disease, hearing loss was documented by brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP). Although the initial clinical and laboratory findings of this infant could fit with the diagnosis of progressive childhood bulbar palsy or Fazio-Londe (FL) disease, the subsequent appearance of hearing loss suggests that this patient represents a case of progressive bulbar palsy with perceptive deafness or Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere (BVVL) syndrome. To our knowledge, this case of BVVL syndrome with severe clinical features and rapid deterioration leading to death is the youngest one reported in the literature. Furthermore, this case emphasizes the need for repeated auditory examinations, including the performance of BAEP in all cases, especially infants and young children with progressive bulbar palsy.
Abbreviations:BVVL syndrome, Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome (), FL disease, Fazio-Londe disease (), BAEP, brainstem auditory evoked potentials (), CSF, cerebrospinal fluid (), SMA, spinal muscular atrophy ()
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Accepted: May 30, 2002
Received in revised form: May 30, 2002
Received: January 30, 2002
© 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.