• Vol. 34 No. 7, 447–449
  • 15 August 2005

Post-poliomyelitis Syndrome: Case Report and Review of the Literature



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Introduction: Postpoliomyelitis syndrome (PPS) refers to the new neuromuscular symptoms that occur in patients years after their acute poliomyelitis has stabilised. PPS cases seen now are probably related to the poliomyelitis epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s. Clinical Picture and Investigation: A 57-year-old Chinese man with a history of poliomyelitis affecting both lower limbs presented with left upper limb weakness. Physical examination revealed atrophy of his left upper limb muscles. There were fasciculations in the biceps and brachioradialis muscles. Electromyography revealed ongoing denervation neurogenic units in the C5 to TI myotomes comparable with PPS. Conclusion: The aim of this paper is to review the present situation and to give a short summary of PPS, which can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms of presentation are usually non-specific. We describe a case of PPS and review the current literature.

Postpoliomyelitis syndrome (PPS) is characterised by the delayed appearance of new neuromuscular symptoms in patients many years after their acute poliomyelitis paralysis. PPS occurs 30 to 40 years after an acute poliomyelitis attack and is observed in approximately 25% to 28% of patients.1 It is still unclear, at this point in time, if the occurrence of PPS increases with age. The PPS cases seen are probably related to the poliomyelitis epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s.2

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