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April 1961

Sustained Hypertension After Poliomyelitis

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(4):551-557. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620040077008

Several reports have dealt with the vasomotor instability that is sometimes part of acute poliomyelitis.1-8 Hypertension and shock, the former numerically predominant, have been described. In a study based on thousands of blood pressure measurements in poliomyelitis patients, Kemp noted a transient rise in blood pressure in over half the fatal cases and in more than a third of those who developed the bulbar or bulbospinal form of the disease.1 In other series, the incidence of elevated blood pressure in acutely ill poliomyelitis patients varied from 7%4 to 47%.2 The hypertension has been attributed either to damage of the bulbar vasomotor centers by the virus or to the anoxia and carbon dioxide retention secondary to respiratory paralysis. In general, the hypertension of the acute phase has been more common in those groups with bulbar involvement1-3,8 and with respiratory paralysis.2,4 Renal dysfunction during the acute

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