Intractable Vomiting and Hiccups: An Atypical Presentation of Neuromyelitis Optica.
Neuromyelitis optica is an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system. It involves the immune-mediated demyelination of predominantly the optic nerves and the spinal cord, which can lead to optic neuritis and transverse myelitis, respectively. Patients usually present with symptoms related to the eyes or the spinal cord, like loss of vision, pain in the eyes, visual field defects or numbness and weakness of limbs. Vomiting and hiccups are common cases encountered in medicine clinics and can sometimes be an atypical presentation of this disorder. Here we present a case of a 33-year-old female who initially presented to our tertiary care centre with repeated episodes of bilious vomiting and intractable hiccups for 10 days. After multiple investigations over a couple of days, the patient was found to be positive for anti-NMO antibodies and displayed neuro-radiological findings on MRI brain and spine, which finally led to the diagnosis of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Through this case we highlight the importance of suspecting NMO in a patient with complaints of intractable vomiting and hiccups, so that early intervention and treatment can prevent further disabling complications of the disease.