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Pediatr Radiol. 2010 Dec;40 Suppl 1:S138-40. doi: 10.1007/s00247-010-1650-6. Epub 2010 May 4.

MRI findings in an infant with vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Hospital de Base, São José do Rio Preto Medical School, São Paulo, State, 15090-000, Brazil.


Although acute flaccid paralysis is a manifestation observed in several neurologic and muscular disorders, vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP) is an exceedingly rare etiology. In the clinical setting of acute flaccid paralysis, MRI is useful in differentiating between VAPP and other conditions. Additionally, MRI can assess the extent of lesions. However, reports on MRI findings in VAPP are scarce in the pediatric radiology literature. We report a Brazilian infant who developed VAPP 40 days after receiving the first dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV). MR images of the cervical and thoracic spinal cord showed lesions involving the anterior horn cell, with increased signal intensity on T2-weighted sequences. We would like to emphasize the importance of considering VAPP as a differential diagnosis in patients with acute flaccid paralysis and an MRI showing involvement of medulla oblongata or spinal cord, particularly in countries where OPV is extensively administered.

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