Evolution of dose and response to botulinum toxin A in cervical dystonia: a multicenter study

J Neurol. 2011 Jun;258(6):1055-7. doi: 10.1007/s00415-010-5880-1. Epub 2011 Jan 1.


Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is an effective treatment for cervical dystonia (CD). Long-term changes of several variables, including the dose of BoNT, in these patients is largely unknown. We reviewed the clinical charts of 275 patients with CD treated with BoNT type A (BoNT-A) for at least 5 years since 1989 at ten tertiary centers. The mean dose of BoNT-A per session during the first 5 years of treatment was calculated and the appearance of resistance was noted. The dose of BoNT-A for the whole group showed a significant trend to increase over time (year 1: 180 ± 65 U; year 5: 203 ± 63 U; ANOVA: p < 0.0001). However, when we studied the evolution of the dose of BoNT-A for those patients (n = 49) first injected after 2000 (introduction of current BOTOX preparation in our country), there was no significant increase in dose (year 1: 181.8 ± 75 U; year 5: 181.7 ± 75 U; ANOVA p: ns). A total of 19 patients became secondary nonresponders; all but one of these patients began BoNT-A treatment before 2000. In summary, there is a statistically significant increase of mean dose of BoNT-A per session over time, and this could be explained by the appearance of secondary nonresponders. On the other hand, those patients initially treated after 2000 did not show any statistically significant increase in dose for 5 years. This could be explained by better experience and techniques, fewer immunogenic problems with the current BoNT-A, and also less variability of the dose per vial.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Torticollis / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A