Ruth Elizabeth Abraham1, Gan Lay Min1, Ahmad Luqman Bin Md Pauzi2, Noor Hafizah Abdul Salim2, Iskasymar Ismail2

1Department of Medicine, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

Keywords: Abdominal wall dyskinesia, belly dancer’s dyskinesia, diaphragmatic flutter, respiratory myoclonus


Respiratory myoclonus, also known as belly dancer’s dyskinesia (BDD), is a rare manifestation of movement disorder characterized by repetitive choreiform involuntary movements involving the anterior abdominal muscles, the diaphragm, and other respiratory muscles. Currently, there is no definite pathophysiology that clearly explains this condition. A 25 year old male with a known case of BDD presented with an exacerbation of involuntary and continuous writhing movements of the abdominal wall muscles associated with abdominal pain and shortness of breath over the past 2 days. Subsequently, he was intubated due to worsening respiratory distress a few days after his admission. He was then put on ultrasound guided botulinum toxin A injections of 25 units over the left hemidiaphragm regularly. His symptoms markedly improved since then as the attacks had reduced to 5–6 monthly intervals. Administration of ultrasound guided botulinum toxin A injections may help to control the exacerbation of BDD and might be an option for cases refractory to medical treatment and phrenic nerve ablation.

How to cite this article: Abraham RE, Min GL, Md Pauzi AL, Abdul Salim NH, Ismail I. Acute respiratory failure induced by belly dancer's syndrome: A glance to a rare case report. Turk J Emerg Med 2023;23:191-4.

Author Contributions

AL provided the concept of manuscript. RE, GH, AL, NH and II contributed to the concept of manuscript and wrote the paper.
AL provided the setting according to CARE Guidelines. All Authors Contributed to this manuscript by editing, revisioning and taking care of references.

Conflict of Interest

None Declared.

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