2019 Volume 13 Issue 4 Pages 239-243
Barré-Lièou syndrome is a manifestation of various autonomic and secondary symptoms, such as muscle stiffness, tinnitus, dizziness, and pain in the head, neck, eyes, throat, ears, chest, and back. While thought to be caused by hyperactivation of the autonomic nervous system due to trauma, there is currently no firmly established etiology. This, and the nonspecific nature of many of its symptoms, presents a challenge both for clinicians, who must provide a correct diagnosis and patients, who are often misdiagnosed or faced with undue scrutiny from insurance companies. Here, we present two cases of Barré-Lièou syndrome, focusing on the processes leading to diagnosis, treatment, and problems encountered. Case 1 involves a 68-year-old woman whose head computed tomography (CT) scan revealed no abnormalities following a car accident. Approximately 10 months after her initial injury, Barré-Lièou syndrome was suspected because of autonomic symptoms that developed over time. She was prescribed an α-blocker, and 9 months later, her symptoms subsided. Case 2 was a 69-year-old woman who presented with bruising to the right chest and right knee after colliding with a car while riding her bicycle. One month later, Barré-Lièou syndrome was suspected because of her autonomic symptoms. She was prescribed an α-blocker, and 17 months later, her symptoms subsided. Because of the characteristic autonomic and secondary symptoms described above and a positive response to α-blockers, Barré-Lièou syndrome was suspected in both cases. We believe reporting cases will aid in the understanding of this disease and help patients obtain positive outcomes.