A poliomyelitis-like illness after asthma attacks has been found and is called asthmatic amyotrophy (Hopkins' syndrome). All of the previously reported cases were under 13 years of age. Three patients are described who developed acute myelitis after asthma attacks at 15, 22, and 73 years of age. All of them showed acute flaccid monoparesis, and needle EMG disclosed denervation potentials in the relevant muscles. In addition, in the two adult patients the sensory or pyramidal tracts were involved, and evoked potential studies confirmed an involvement of the pyramidal tracts in one of them. This 22 year old patient showed a second episode of monoparesis in the other limb after another asthma attack. All three patients had no significant changes in their antiviral antibody titres, whereas every patient had hyperIgEaemia and allergen specific IgE. These findings suggest that asthmatic amyotrophy can develop after puberty and that patients who develop this disease in adulthood seem to show both a widespread involvement of the spinal cord and a more varied course.
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