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Arch Med Sci. 2011 Dec 31;7(6):1049-54. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2011.26619. Epub 2011 Dec 30.

Distribution of affected muscles and degree of neurogenic lesion in patients with spina bifida.

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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, University Children's Hospital, Belgrade, Serbia.



Patients with spina bifida in the lumbosacral region usually have various degrees of motor and sensory dysfunctions of the lower extremities and anal sphincter. The aim of our study was to evaluate the distribution and differences in frequencies of affected muscles, number of affected muscles and degree of neurogenic lesion between patients with spina bifida occulta (SBO) and spina bifida aperta (SBA).


In 100 patients with SB, 6 muscles in the lower limbs were separately analysed. Due to the number of affected muscles, we evaluated 5 groups of patients: with 1 affected muscle, 2 affected muscles, 3 affected muscles, 4 affected muscles and 5 affected muscles. Three degrees of neurogenic lesions were assessed: mild, moderate and severe.


The tibialis anterior muscle was most frequently affected in SB patients. The outer anal sphincter was frequently affected in the group of SBA patients. Single muscle affection is frequent in the group of patients with SBO, while in the group of patients with SBA, 4 muscles were significantly frequently affected. The great majority of patients (45.46%) with affected outer anal sphincter (OAS) in the group of SBO were without affection of other muscles, while for the SBA group it was for every third patient. Mild neurogenic lesion was significantly frequent in SBO patients, while severe form was significantly frequent in SBA patients.


Patients with SBO usually present with mild to moderate clinical presentation, while multiple root involvement and severe degree of neurogenic lesion is associated more frequently with SBA.


electromyography; muscles; neurogenic lesion; spina bifida aperta; spina bifida occulta

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