We examined the remote effects on muscle strength and functional decline of lower-extremity botulinum toxin A injections in children with cerebral palsy. This prospective study enrolled 34 children (19 boys, 15 girls; mean age, 7.7 years) diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy. Patients were examined at baseline and 1 month to determine if they experienced a change in upper-extremity strength (handheld dynamometry) or function (Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument). Subjects were analyzed in aggregate and by dosing group (low dose, 0-10 U/kg body weight; high dose, 11-25 U/kg) to determine if injection dose was associated with a change in remote muscle strength or function. We measured baseline and 1-month postinjection strength in shoulder flexor, shoulder abductor, elbow flexor, elbow extensor, and finger flexor muscles. None of these remote muscle groups was significantly weaker at 1 month after injection. No correlation was evident between change in muscle strength and toxin dose. These findings indicate that doses of botulinum toxin A in the lower extremities, at up to 21 U/kg, do not affect upper-extremity strength. This information can help guide dosages of botulinum toxin A in the management of spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.
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|Published - Oct 2008