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Extensive hemicerebral damage after traumatic midterm amniocentesis
  1. Seth Cox1,
  2. John S Duncan2
  1. 1 Medicine, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, Bedford, UK
  2. 2 National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London, London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Prof John S Duncan, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London, London WC1N 3BG, UK; john.duncan{at}

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A 28-year-old right-handed man had suffered a traumatic amniocentesis at 17 weeks’ gestation, and subsequently was born with extensive right-sided cerebral, cerebellar and brainstem damage. The initial amniocentesis had been abandoned and was repeated 2 weeks later, with normal results; subsequent prenatal ultrasound scans were normal. The patient had an uncomplicated delivery at term, though was noted to have a complete right-sided ptosis and marks on the right parietal region of the scalp. By 4 months of age, it was evident that he had developed a right-sided third nerve palsy, a left-sided hemiparesis and left visual field defect. He developed infantile spasms that were treated successfully with adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). No further seizures occurred until habitual seizures began at 7 years of age, consisting of …

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  • Contributors Professor JD suggested the writing up of this case, which describes a long-standing patient of his, as he recognises the rarity of such a case. Professor JD also made many suggestions with the form and focus of the write-up, selected the images when presented to him to be included in the write-up and facilitated the patient completing the consent form. I (Dr Cox) wrote the case study and sourced the images before giving the drafts for review to Professor JD.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Dominic Paviour, London, UK, and Johann Te Water Naudé, Cardiff, UK.

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