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Tongue Wasting

August 19th, 2017


  • Look For

  • Decreased mass of the tongue, unilaterally or bilaterally.
  • Causes of Tongue Wasting

  • Motor neuron disease
  • Hypoglossal (XII) nerve lesion - tumour, trauma, infarct, haemorrhage, demyelination, bulbar palsy
  • Interpretation

  • Unilateral wasting - suggestive of a lower motor neuron, involving the hypoglossal nerve (XII) or medullary hypoglossal nucleus
  • Bilateral wasting - suggestive of motor neuron disease, Guillain Barre or neurosyphilis
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