Vol 51, No 2 (2017)

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Post-polio syndrome. Cases report and review of literature

Żanna Pastuszak1, Adam Stępień1, Kazimierz Tomczykiewicz1, Renata Piusińska-Macoch1, Dariusz Galbarczyk2, Agnieszka Rolewska2
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2017.01.009
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2017;51(2):140-145.


It is estimated that around 15 million people survived polio infection worldwide since early twentieth century. In 1950 effective vaccination was used for first time. Since that time number of affected people decreased. The last epidemic of Haine–Medine disease in Poland was in 1950s. Another rare cases of infections were observed till 1970s. About at least 15 years after polio virus infection, slowly progressive muscle limbs paresis with muscle atrophy, joints pain, paresthesia were observed in polio survivors. That constellation of symptoms was called post-polio syndrome (PPS). PPS frequency among people after paralytic and nonparalytic polio infectious is ranged from 30% to 80%. Fatigue that leads to physical and mental activity deterioration is another important symptom that is observed in 90% of patients with PPS. Etiology of disease remains elusive. Probably it is an effect of spine frontal horns motoneurons damage during acute virus polio infection that leads to overloading and degeneration of remaining ones. The most important risk factors of PPS are female sex and respiratory symptoms during acute polio infection. Electromyography is an important part of PPS diagnostic process. Electrophysiological abnormalities are seen in clinically affected and unaffected muscles. The most frequent are fasciculations and fibrillations during rest activity, extension of motor unit area, time duration and amplitude. In this study we described three cases of people who developed PPS years after Haine–Medine disease and correlation between their EMG results and clinical status. We also analyzed electromyography results both after one month since first PPS signs occurred as well as after few years. Presentation of dynamic changes in EMG was the most important aim of that study.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska