Sepsis or sympathetics? Paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity after pontine stroke

A 64-year-old man from nursing home with a pontine stroke 3 months ago, ventilator-dependent, presented with episodic fever, tachycardia and tachypnoea occurring several times a day. He was evaluated for sepsis and pulmonary embolism and was treated empirically with broad-spectrum antibiotics. But these episodes persisted. Due to the episodic nature and typical symptoms of sympathetic overactivity, in the setting of prior brain injury, paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity was considered. His antibiotics were discontinued, and he was treated symptomatically with baclofen and bromocriptine, which resulted in a partial reduction of these episodes.
as reported in: BMJ Case Rep. 2021 Jul 22; 14(7):