Journal Information
Vol. 99. Issue 2.
Pages 145 (1 August 2023)
Vol. 99. Issue 2.
Pages 145 (1 August 2023)
Images in Paediatrics
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Palatal tremor in a teenager
Temblor del paladar en un adolescente
Marta Rodríguez-Díaza,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Mónica Hernando Cuñadob, Elena María Rincón-Lópezc,d
a Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
b Servicio de Otorrinolaringología, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
c Servicio de Pediatría, Sección Enfermedades Infecciosas Pediátricas, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
d Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Enfermedades Infecciosas del Instituto de Salud Carlos III (CIBERINFEC), Madrid, Spain
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Essential palatal myoclonus (EPM), also known as palatal tremor, is an infrequent neuro-otologic disorder manifesting with symmetrical rhythmic contractions of the soft palate muscles.1

We present the case of a male adolescent aged 15 years who presented to the emergency department with continuous rhythmic spasms of the soft palate and uvula with onset 24h prior, accompanied by perception of a recurrent clicking noise that caused significant discomfort to the patient, to the point that it precluded sleep (Appendix B video). These complaints were associated with fever, cough and nasal discharge, and the patient received a diagnosis of uncomplicated cold. At the emergency department, he was given a single dose of diazepam orally, which achieved complete resolution of the tremor. Two months later, the patient returned to the department with a new episode of similar characteristics, also in the context of a cold.

The diagnosis of EPM is clinical, although it requires ruling out secondary palatal myoclonus (which is less frequent in the paediatric age group) due to trauma, tumours, ischaemia, infection or demyelinating disorders. Essential palatal myoclonus may resolve spontaneously or with the use of a variety of treatments, such as benzodiazepines, carbamazepine, valproic acid or injections of botulinum toxin.2,3

Appendix A
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J.H. Lam, M.E. Fullarton, A. Bennett.
Essential palatal myoclonus following dental surgery: a case report.
J Med Case Rep, 7 (2013), pp. 241
R. Spini, D. Cohen, M. Juchli, L. Ibarra.
Mioclonía palatina esencial. Reporte de un caso pediátrico.
Arch Argent Pediatr, 119 (2021), pp. e54-e57
S. Bhattacharjee.
Palatal tremor - pathophysiology, clinical features, investigations, management and future challenges.
Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (NY), 10 (2020), pp. 40
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