E–Pearl of the Week: Vespers Curse

January 24, 2012


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January 24, 2012

Vespers Curse

Vespers curse is a transient positional syndrome with painful sensations in the legs and lumbosacral discomfort that occurs in the setting of congestive heart failure and spinal stenosis. Increased right atrial filling pressure in the recumbent position is thought to increase paraspinal venous filling, exacerbate preexisting stenosis and lead to sleep disturbances. The absence of a circadian pattern, the predominance of pain as opposed to dysesthesias and the response to positional change differentiates this syndrome from restless legs syndrome.


1. LaBan MM, Wesolowski DP. Night pain associated with diminished cardiopulmonary compliance. A concomitant of lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1988; 67:155–160.

Submitted by: Matthias Georg Ziller, MD, FRCPC

Disclosures: Dr. Ziller reports no disclosures.

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