Infantile paralysis is not merely an acute disease of the anterior horn area of the gray matter of the spinal cord. Lesions are also found in the posterior horns, in the sympathetic column and in the dorsal root ganglions. The white matter and the vessels of the pia are also involved. In addition, any part of the central nervous system, cerebral cortex, cerebellum, pons and medulla may be affected. However, the affinity of the virus for the gray matter of the cord is striking. After the period of acute inflammation, resolution takes place. It is usually complete in the white matter and sometimes even in the gray matter. In many cases anterior horn cells are destroyed or damaged by direct action of the virus. Distribution and intensity of the lesions vary widely.
These lesions explain the symptomatology of infantile paralysis very well. After a stage of general malaise, as seen
MOLDAVER J. PHYSIOPATHOLOGIC ASPECT OF THE DISORDERS OF MUSCLES IN INFANTILE PARALYSIS: PRELIMINARY REPORT. JAMA. 1943;123(2):74–77. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840370006002
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