Diphtheritic polyneuritis in an elderly woman: clinical and neurophysiological follow-up

Br J Clin Pract. 1990 Jul;44(7):285-7.


A 71-year-old English lady initially presented with a bulbar paralysis and, six weeks later, developed a generalised sensori-motor neuropathy. Corynebacterium diphtheriae mitis was cultured from her throat swab. Despite a good clinical recovery at one month, nerve conduction velocity was at its lowest. As far as the authors are aware, this is one of the few cases of neurophysiological and clinical follow-up in a British subject with diphtheritic peripheral neuropathy. This case emphasises the importance of giving antitoxin early.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Diphtheria / complications*
  • Diphtheria / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Polyneuropathies / drug therapy
  • Polyneuropathies / etiology*
  • Polyneuropathies / physiopathology


  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone