Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Rigidity, hyperthermia, and altered mental status
  1. José María Calvo-Romero,
  2. María del Carmen Bonilla-Gracia,
  3. Juan Lucio Ramos-Salado,
  4. Pedro Bureo-Dacal
  1. Internal Medicine Service, Infanta Cristina University Hospital, Badajoz, Spain
  1. José María Calvo Romero, Héroes de Cascorro 9, 31A, 06004 Badajoz, Spain

Statistics from

Answers on p 726.

A 55 year old white woman presented with a two day history of severe rigidity, hyperthermia, altered mental status, and autonomic dysfunction. She had been treated for paranoid-type schizophrenia with zuclopentixol for two years. Thirteen weeks before, zuclopentixol had been discontinued and she started treatment with olanzapine (10 mg/day). Two weeks before, olanzapine was stopped because of worsening of her schizophrenic symptoms and she started taking zuclopentixol again (30 mg/day). She did not use any other medications or drugs. The clinical picture happened in winter. On admission, the oral temperature was 40.3°C, blood pressure 110/70 mm Hg, pulse rate 125 beats/min, and respiratory rate was 30/min. There was prominent diaphoresis. The neurological examination was difficult to complete because of the patient's uncooperativeness. She did not follow commands or answer questions. His face was symmetric, and she had severe rigidity in neck, arms, and legs. Deep tendon reflexes were symmetric and the results of the Babinski test were equivocal. Extraocular movements and fundi were normal.


What is your differential diagnosis for this case and what investigations would you perform?
What is the treatment for this case?

View Abstract

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.