Acute motor axonal neuropathy

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 12 Nov 2021

Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) is characterized as progressive symmetrical flaccid paralysis with areflexia. It is a pure motor axonopathy and is a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome.


In 1991, a short-lived epidemic of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) was seen in Northern China. This gave rise to the short-lived and historical synonym "Chinese paralytic syndrome" for what was felt to be a form of acute motor axonal neuropathy, a distinct subtype of GBS. However studies showed that 3:

  1. sensory symptoms and signs played a larger part than was originally reported; this conclusion was supported by electrophysiological studies showing demyelination of sensory, as well as motor, fibers
  2. the clinical presentation was typical Guillain-Barré syndrome, therefore a separate monicker, i.e. Chinese paralytic syndrome, was unnecessary and therefore inappropriate

There are no articles published after 1996 in the medical literature using this term.

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