Transient mutism following removal of a cerebellar tumor
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A 14-year-old boy developed mutism 24 h after the removal of a vermian low-grade astrocytoma. The mutism was not accompanied by long tract signs or cranial nerve palsies. He started to regain his speech 3 weeks postoperatively, and 4 months after the operation he was minimally dysarthric. Seven similar cases of transient muteness following cerebellar operations and not accompanied by long tract signs or cranial nerve palsies have been reported in the literature. In most of them there was delayed postoperative onset of the mutism. In all patients the recovery of speech started to appear 2 weeks to 3 months postoperatively and passed through a dysarthric phase. The absence of long tract or other brain stem signs, together with the presence of dysarthria during the recovery of speech, suggests a cerebellar cause for the transient muteness.
Key wordsCerebellar neoplasm Surgery Mutism
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