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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 313-316

Prospective study of diphtheria for neurological complications

Department of Paediatrics, Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Preeti L Rai
A-10, Doctors Residence, Ram Murti Puram, Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences (SRMSIMS), Bhojipura, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh 243202
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JPN.JPN_130_17

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Aim: To study the spectrum of neurological complications of diphtheria, timing of onset with respect to respiratory disease, and pattern of recovery. Settings and Design: Prospective, observational, hospital-based study conducted in tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight cases of diphtheria with neurological complications were admitted during the period of study. Demographic profile, age, gender, status of immunization, past history stressing on the severity of the respiratory disease, and complaints regarding diverse complications of diphtheria were recorded. Detailed clinical and central nervous system examinations along with relevant investigations were carried out. Results: Children were in the age group of 3–18 years. All 28 children presented with bulbar symptoms. Isolated palatal palsy was present in 18 children (64%). Third cranial involvement was present in four children. Three children had unilateral lower motor neuron facial palsy and one child had sixth cranial nerve palsy. Nine children developed symmetric limb weakness. Diaphragmatic palsy was present in three children with the onset from 1–3 weeks after pharyngeal diphtheria. Loss of vasomotor tone was present in two children. Recovery was complete` in all 28 children. Conclusion: Pediatricians/neurophysicians should have a high index of suspicion to recognize diphtheritic polyneuropathy. It carries good prognosis, hence timely diagnosis and differentiation from other neuropathies is a prerequisite for rational management and contact tracing.


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