Hemiplegia is a condition where there is paralysis in one vertical half of a patient's body. This is not hemiparesis wherein one half of the body is weakened, i.e. one arm and its corresponding leg are weak. Hemiplegia is similar to hemiparesis, but hemiparesis is considered less severe.
It can be congenital (occurring before, during, or soon after birth) or acquired (as from illness or stroke).
It is usually the result of a stroke, although disease processes affecting the spinal cord and other diseases affecting the hemispheres are equally capable of producing this clinical state. Hemiplegia can be a more serious consequence of stroke than spasticity.
Cerebral palsy can also affect one hemisphere, resulting in limited function. This does not cause paralysis but instead causes spasms. Cerebral palsy where this is the only symptom is often referred just as hemiplegia.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus can lead to transient hemiplegia.
A rare cause of hemiplegia is due to local anaesthetic injections given intra-arterially rapidly, instead of given in a nerve branch.
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Cerebral abscess
- Cerebral palsy
- Traumatic cerebral hemorrhage
- Cerebral agenesis
Causes by Organ System
|Cardiovascular||No underlying causes|
|Chemical / poisoning||No underlying causes|
|Dermatologic||No underlying causes|
|Drug Side Effect||Cidofovir, Oxcarbazepine, Pergolide, Pramipexole|
|Ear Nose Throat||No underlying causes|
|Endocrine||No underlying causes|
|Environmental||No underlying causes|
|Gastroenterologic||No underlying causes|
|Genetic||Apolipoprotein A1 deficiency|
|Hematologic||Bone marrow failure neurologic abnormalities, Hyper IgE syndrome (autosomal recessive)|
|Iatrogenic||No underlying causes|
|Infectious Disease||Cerebral abscess, Cerebellar abscess, Cortical thrombophlebitis, Encephalitis, Hydatid cyst, Infective endocarditis, Meningitis, Paragonimiasis, Rasmussen subacute encephalitis, Toxoplasmosis|
|Musculoskeletal / Ortho||No underlying causes|
|Neurologic||Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, Acute infantile hemiplegia, Alternating hemiplegia, Benedikt's syndrome, Brushfield-Wyatt syndrome, Cerebellar abscess, Cerebral abscess, Cerebral agenesis, Cerebral angioma, Cerebral contusion, Cerebral embolism, Cerebral hemorrhage, Cerebral palsy, Cerebral thrombosis, Cortical thrombophlebitis, Encephalitis, Epiloia, Extradural hemorrhage, Head injury, Hypertensive encephalopathy, Meningitis, Millard-Gubler syndrome, Motor neuron disease, Multiple sclerosis, Pick's disease, Porencephaly, Primary neoplasm, Rasmussen subacute encephalitis, Raymond-Foville syndrome, Schilder's disease, Secondary neoplasm, Sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation, Stroke, Sturge-Weber syndrome, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Subdural haematoma, Toxoplasmosis, Traumatic cerebral hemorrhage, Weber's syndrome|
|Nutritional / Metabolic||No underlying causes|
|Obstetric/Gynecologic||No underlying causes|
|Oncologic||Cerebral angioma, Primary neoplasm, Secondary neoplasm|
|Opthalmologic||No underlying causes|
|Overdose / Toxicity||No underlying causes|
|Pulmonary||No underlying causes|
|Renal / Electrolyte||No underlying causes|
|Rheum / Immune / Allergy||No underlying causes|
|Sexual||No underlying causes|
|Trauma||Traumatic cerebral hemorrhage|
|Urologic||No underlying causes|
|Dental||No underlying causes|
|Miscellaneous||Klippel Feil Syndrome, Birth injury|
Causes in Alphabetical Order
Hemiplegic migraine is a form of migraine during which the person will experience the feeling of numbness on one side of their body. This feeling will usually pass within 2-12 hour.
- Patten C, Lexell J, Brown HE. Weakness and strength training in persons with poststroke hemiplegia: Rationale, method, and efficacy. J Rehab Res Dev 2004;41:293-312. Fulltext. PMID 15543447.
- CHASA Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association non-profit organization
- HemiHelp, a UK based childhood hemiplegia (cerebral palsy) charity
- AHC Kids Dutch website about Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood
- Spinal Cord Injury Peer Support