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April 1977

Acute Infantile Motor Unit Disorder: Infantile Botulism?

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Los Angeles.

Arch Neurol. 1977;34(4):236-243. doi:10.1001/archneur.1977.00500160050009

• Eight infants with an acute reversible motor unit disorder are described, including two infants from whom Clostridium botulinum type A was isolated from stool specimens. The clinical spectrum includes constipation, cranial nerve deficits, pupillary involvement, and generalized hypotonic weakness. There were no deaths, and all infants have had complete clinical recovery. A characteristic electromyographic (EMG) pattern was present early in the illness and persisted at least in part until clinical recovery. This distinctive pattern consisted of brief, small, abundant for power exerted motor unit potentials. This EMG pattern in the context of the clinical syndrome may well be diagnostic for acute infantile motor unit disorder.