Cervical Dystonia Mimics: A Case Series and Review of the Literature

  • Srinivas Raju
  • Amogh Ravi
  • LK Prashanth


Background: Cervical dystonia is mostly idiopathic in nature. However, a small subset of cases are mimics, leading to diagnostic pitfalls. There is paucity of literature on pseudodystonias affecting the cervical region.

Method: We performed a retrospective review of patients attending a movement disorders clinic over a period of 7 years (2012–2018). Among them, those who were considered to have mimics of cervical dystonia based upon clinical and supportive investigations were included.

Results: Six out of 2,412 patients (0.24%) were diagnosed as cervical dystonia mimics and the causes included isolated neck extensor myopathy (2), craniovertebral junction anomalies (2), sternocleidomastoid fibrosis (1) and post traumatic sequelae (1). Among these patients, three patients had received various treatments for cervical dystonia, including botulinum toxin injections.

Discussion: Mimics of isolated cervical dystonia are rare. A high degree of suspicion and proper diligent clinical assessment assists management and prognostication.

Keywords: Cervical dystonia, pseudodystonia, dystonia mimics, head drop, neck extensor myopathy

Citation: Raju S, Ravi A, Prashanth LK. Cervical dystonia mimics: A case series and review of the literature. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov. 2019; 9. doi: 10.7916/tohm.v0.707