Polio-like paralysis refers to a paralytic state which is similar in clinical appearance to polio, but from which poliovirus is not isolated. Like polio, the main presenting symptom is acute flaccid paralysis.
There are many causes, some of which are infective, e.g. coxsackie A9 and A23, and the coxsackie B viruses.
Enterovirus 71 is now considered a leading cause of polio-like paralysis in children.
MRI reveals involvement of the ipsilateral anterior horn cells (T2 hyperintensity with accompanying enhancement). If there is radioculomyelitis, there may be thickening and enhancement of the ventral nerve roots of the cauda equina 3.
- T2: hyperintense anterior horn cell
- T1+C (Gd): enhancement of the ventral nerve roots and anterior horn cell
- 1. Gear JH. Nonpolio causes of polio-like paralytic syndromes. Rev. Infect. Dis. 1984;6 Suppl 2: S379-84. Pubmed citation
- 2. Tejada J, Hernández-Echebarria LE, Fernández-López JF et-al. Acute anterior horn cell disease resembling poliomyelitis as a manifestation of respiratory syncytial virus infection. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 1996;60 (1): 106-7. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 3. Chen CY, Chang YC, Huang CC et-al. Acute flaccid paralysis in infants and young children with enterovirus 71 infection: MR imaging findings and clinical correlates. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2001;22 (1): 200-5. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol (full text) - Pubmed citation