Quantifying how location and dose of botulinum toxin injections affect muscle paralysis

Muscle Nerve. 1993 Sep;16(9):964-9. doi: 10.1002/mus.880160913.


Despite the widespread use of botulinum toxin to treat muscle dystonias, no method exists to quantify muscle paralysis in either human or nonhuman models. In this study we examined how the location, dose, and volume of botulinum injection affects paralysis in the rat tibialis anterior muscle. Paralysis was quantified by electrically stimulating the nerve to the tibialis anterior and then staining sections of the muscle for glycogen. The areas of glycogen-containing fibers represented regions of botulinum action. The results showed that the most important injection technique is to inject botulinum directly into the motor endplate region of a muscle. Injections only 0.5 cm from the motor endplate resulted in a 50% decrease in paralysis. Increases in dose increased paralysis, however, some of that increase was simply due to the increased volume of injection. Thus, delivering toxin in small volumes near the MEP band of a muscle should produce the most effective paralysis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Botulinum Toxins / administration & dosage
  • Botulinum Toxins / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Male
  • Motor Endplate
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Paralysis / chemically induced
  • Paralysis / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Glycogen
  • Botulinum Toxins