To the Editor.—
Descriptions of the experience of surviving near-death events are entertaining,1 but should be interpreted with caution.
Report of a Case.—
A 40-year-old woman with normal findings on physical examination except for breakaway weakness and nonanatomic sensory loss, underwent myelography for long-term lower back pain. Immediately after subarachnoid instillation of iohexol she became light-headed, then unresponsive, with labored breathing. Respiratory resuscitation was initiated by a radiologist, but when the code team arrived, her breathing, arterial blood values, and blood pressure were normal. They found fluctuating stiffness and weakness in her legs, normal reflexes, and defensive behavior. Although alert and talkative, she refused to cooperate with sensory testing or to answer questions about her paraparesis. Unexpectedly, labored respirations and unresponsiveness recurred. Intubation was attempted, which provoked a prompt return of consciousness and normal breathing; leg function returned to normal. The spell was judged to be a conversion reaction