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    • Conduction block in acute motor axonal neuropathy: Influence Statistics

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      Concepts for whichthey havehas direct influence:Conduction block,Motor axonal,Acute motor,Axonal degeneration,Axonal neuropathy,Ulnar nerve,Block axonal,Nerve conduction.

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      David Reid Cornblath
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      Hugh Bostock
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      Conduction block in acute motor axonal neuropathy

      Abstract

      Guillain-Barré syndrome is divided into two major subtypes, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and acute motor axonal neuropathy. The characteristic electrophysiological features of acute motor axonal neuropathy are reduced amplitude or absence of distal compound muscle action potentials indicating axonal degeneration. In contrast, autopsy study results show early nodal changes in acute motor axonal neuropathy that may produce motor nerve conduction block. Because the presence of conduction block in acute motor axonal neuropathy has yet to be fully recognized, we reviewed how often conduction block occurred and how frequently it either reversed or was followed by axonal degeneration. Based on Ho's criteria, acute motor axonal neuropathy was electrodiagnosed in 18 patients, and repeated motor nerve conduction studies were carried out on their median and ulnar nerves. Forearm segments of these nerves and the across-elbow segments of the ulnar nerve were examined to evaluate conduction block based on the consensus criteria of the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Twelve (67%) of the 18 patients with acute motor axonal neuropathy had definite (n=7) or probable (n=5) conduction blocks. Definite conduction block was detected for one patient (6%) in the forearm segments of both nerves and probable conduction block was detected for five patients (28%). Definite conduction block was present across the elbow segment of the ulnar nerve in seven patients (39%) and probable conduction block in two patients (11%). Conduction block was reversible in seven of 12 patients and was followed by axonal degeneration in six. All conduction blocks had disappeared or begun to resolve within three weeks with no electrophysiological evidence of remyelination. One patient showed both reversible conduction block and conduction block followed by axonal degeneration. Clinical features and anti-ganglioside antibody profiles were similar in the patients with (n=12) and without (n=6) conduction block as well as in those with (n=7) and without (n=5) reversible conduction block, indicating that both conditions form a continuum; a pathophysiological spectrum ranging from reversible conduction failure to axonal degeneration, possibly mediated by antibody attack on gangliosides at the axolemma of the nodes of Ranvier, indicating that reversible conduction block and conduction block followed by axonal degeneration and axonal degeneration without conduction block constitute continuous electrophysiological conditions in acute motor axonal neuropathy.

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