Polio Patients in Northern Italy, a 50 Year Follow-up

L. Bertolasi1, A Danese1, S Monaco1, M Turri1, K Borg2, L Werhagen2, *
1 Section of Neurology, Department of Neurological, Neurophysiological, Morphological and Motor Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
2 Division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institut at Danderyds Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

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© Bertolasi et al; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institut at Danderyds Hospital 5-18288, Stockholm, Sweden; Tel: +0046708842720; E-mail:



Poliomyelitis was before the immunization an important medical problem. Nowadays polio prior patients (PP) suffer from polio sequelae or have developed post-polio-syndrome (PPS) with increasing paresis, pain and fatigue.


To analyze the medical situation 50 years after acute polio. The degree of paresis was compared between the recovery 1952-1961 and 2012.The prevalence of patients fulfilling the criteria for PPS was estimated


The study was performed in Italy. Included were PP with rehabilitation after acute polio 1952-1961 and in 2012. During the years PP underwent yearly evaluation. A thorough neurological examination was performed in 2012. A telephone interview with questions concerning pain, paresis, fatigue, walking aids and concomitant diseases was performed in 2012. The patients were divided in two groups, if they fulfilled the criteria for PPS or not.


Included were 67(94%) patients receiving rehabilitation after acute poliomyelitis and 2012. 78% were walkers, half of the PPS used wheelchair. Eight out of ten suffered from pain. Four out of ten fulfilled the PPS criteria. Pain was slightly more common in PPS.


Female gender, fatigue and wheelchair dependency were significantly more common in PPS while pain was common in both groups.

Keywords: Fatigue, Infantile paresis, Pain, Paresis, Polio, Post-polio-syndrome.