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January 1961

Differential Diagnosis of Infantile Hypotonia: The Use of the Electromyograph and the Developmental and Neurologic Examination as Aids

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and The Clinic of Child Development, Children's Hospital, and the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Ohio State University.; Fellow, National Foundation (Dr. Jebsen)

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(1):8-17. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020020010003

During the past several years we have found electromyography and the Gesell developmental and neurologic examination to be of considerable help in the differential diagnosis of infantile hypotonia. We should like to present a preliminary report on the value of these diagnostic procedures.

The publication of the papers of Werdnig,22 Hoffmann,8 and Oppenheim15 first aroused interest in the problem of the differential diagnosis of infantile hypotonia. In the early part of this century many papers were written about the similarities and dissimilarities of Oppenheim's "amyotonia congenita," Werdnig and Hoffmann's "progressive spinal atrophy of infancy" and Turner's20 "nonprogressive myopathy." Oppenheim described "amyotonia congenita" as a congenital diffuse muscular weakness with atrophy of the muscles and decreased or absent deep tendon reflexes that tended to improve. Werdnig-Hoffmann disease is similar, except that progressive weakness and deterioration occurs, usually leading to death by the age of 5 years, with

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