Asterixis

What is asterixis? 

Asterixis is a form of negative myoclonus mainly associated with metabolic encephalopathies; electrophysiologically, it is characterized by the presence of brief silences of electric muscular activity.

Although originally described in patients with hepatic encephalopathy, asterixis may be caused by many other conditions.

The early stages of metabolic dysfunction assume a rhythmic aspect, resembling tremor.

With progression of the underlying cause, when patients hold their arms outstretched, the wrists display a characteristic flexion (caused by electric silence in the antigravity muscles) 

Causes of Asterixis

Hepatic failure
Respiratory failure
Renal failure
Cardiac failure
Chronic hemodialysis
Polycythemia
Drugs
Anticonvulsants
Salicylates
Levodopa
Lesions in the central nervous system
Medial frontal cortex
Parietal lobe
Internal capsule
Thalamus
Rostral midbrain
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