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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Functional Improvement of Upper and Lower Extremity After Decompression and Neurolysis and Nerve Transfer in a Pediatric Patient with Acute Flaccid Myelitis

Rare disease

Rahul Kumar Nath, Chandra Somasundaram

USA Department of Surgical Research, Texas Nerve and Paralysis Institute, Houston, TX, USA

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:668-673

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.915235

Available online: 2019-05-10

Published: 2019-05-10


BACKGROUND: Acute flaccid myelitis is an emerging polio-like illness mostly affecting young children, characterized by rapid onset of extremity weakness and paralysis in 1 or more limbs. Certain viruses, including enteroviruses such as EV-68, EV-71, poliovirus, and West Nile virus, can cause this disorder. The largest known outbreak of EVD68 in the United States was in the summer of 2014, causing severe respiratory illness and acute flaccid myelitis, mainly in young children. Furthermore, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted an increase in the number of patients with clinical symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis in 2018, and 134 confirmed cases by December 2018 were reported in the USA.
CASE REPORT: The patient in our present study was a 5-year-old female who had significant weakness and paralysis in all 4 extremities due to acute flaccid myelitis. EV-D68 had caused this disorder in this patient in August 2014. Conservative management had not helped her condition. Specific areas of concern were both shoulders and biceps, and the femoral and peroneal nerves in both sides. Of these, the right shoulder function was the worst, at less than grade 3. The patient also had marked atrophy and weakness of the right quadricep muscles. The patient underwent surgical treatment and had steady improvements in all 4 extremity functional movements.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that decompression, neurolysis, and nerve transfer surgical procedures can be used successfully to correct the paralyzed upper and lower extremity movements in acute flaccid myelitis patients.

Keywords: Decompression, Enterovirus Infections, Motor Activity, Nerve Transfer, Quadriplegia