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Pathogenesis and recovery of tetraplegia after electrical injury


The site of neurological damage causing paralysis after electrical trauma remains to be clarified. A patient is described who developed a flaccid tetraplegia after a high voltage electrical injury. The findings on initial examination and neurophysiological investigation showed a very severe generalised sensory-motor polyneuropathy. His subsequent follow up over 60 months showed a remarkable degree of reinnervation and the unmasking of a myelopathy. The degree of reinnervation noted suggests an axonopathy that left the other elements of the peripheral nerves relatively spared. These findings provide the most convincing evidence to date that a generalised polyneuropathy can follow electrical injury and that it results from non-thermal mechanisms such as electroporation.

  • electrical injury
  • tetraplegia after electrical injury
  • recovery after electrical injury

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