Clinical and electrophysiological features of acute flaccid myelitis: A national cohort study

for the Acute Flaccid Myelitis Collaborative Study Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To summarize the neurophysiological properties of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) and evaluate limb-based motor outcomes. Methods: Nerve conduction studies (NCS) in 49 patients (21 females, 28 males; median age = 52 m) with AFM (median = 7 d after onset; range 1–122 d) were reviewed. Neurophysiological findings, together with treatment and prognosis, and neurophysiology–neuroimaging correlations were analyzed. Results: The findings indicated that 64% of paralytic limbs during the acute stage (≤14 d after onset) showed diminished or absent compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs), 79% showed normal motor nerve conduction velocities, 55% showed decreased persistence or absent F-waves, and 95% showed normal sensory nerve conduction velocities. The rate of CMAP abnormalities increased from 41% on days 1–2 to 83% on days 13–14. The reduction in CMAP amplitude was correlated with weaker muscle strength at both the peak neurological deficit and the last follow-up. The baseline limb-based muscle strength at nadir and anterior horn-localized magnetic resonance imaging lesions at recovery stage (>14 d) were strong predictors of outcome at the last follow-up. Conclusions: AFM typically shows neurophysiological features of neuronopathy. Significance: NCS is probably useful in the diagnosis and evaluation of AFM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2456-2463
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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