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Clin Neurophysiol. 2013 Jul;124(7):1431-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2013.01.009. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in patients with poliomyelitis.

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Institut Guttmann, Institut Universitari de Neurorehabilitació Adscrit a UAB, 08916 Badalona, Barcelona, Spain.



Paralytic poliomyelitis (pPM) is clinically suspected in individuals experiencing a non-progressive syndrome of flaccid paralysis and atrophy as a sequel of an acute infection. Despite normal sensory perception, patients with pPM complain of pain more than matched siblings. Here, we studied the characteristics of evoked pain in a cohort of pPM patients using contact heat evoked potentials and psychophysical tests.


Fifteen patients with pPM and 15 controls were studied. Inclusion criteria were unilateral or asymmetric involvement of lower extremities. Mechanical, warm and heat pain perception thresholds and evoked pain were measured in both thighs. Contact heat evoked potentials were recorded from the vertex.


Mechanical and heat pain thresholds were significantly lower in the affected than in the less-affected leg or in the legs of controls. Evoked pain ratings were significantly higher in the affected leg than in either the less-affected leg or in controls. Evoked potentials were significantly higher in the affected than in the less-affected leg.


Patients with pPM have mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia, which suggests abnormalities in processing of somatosensory inputs in these patients.


This phenomenon should be taken into account in the routine clinical evaluation and management of pPM patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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