High dose botulinum toxin A for the treatment of lower extremity hypertonicity in children with cerebral palsy
Article first published online: 26 OCT 2007
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 49, Issue 11, pages 818–822, November 2007
How to Cite
Willis, A. W., Crowner, B., Brunstrom, J. E., Kissel, A. and Racette, B. A. (2007), High dose botulinum toxin A for the treatment of lower extremity hypertonicity in children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 49: 818–822. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2007.00818.x
- Issue published online: 26 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 26 OCT 2007
- Accepted for publication 18th July 2007.
The aim of this study was to determine the safety profile of high dose (15-25 units/kg) of botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and increased lower extremity muscle tone. We performed a retrospective review of 929 patient encounters at the Movement Disorders Center at Washington University. A total of 261 patients (105 females; 156 males) were treated during these visits, ages 6 months to 21 years (mean 8y 4mo [SD 4y 8mo]). Ambulatory ability at the time of BTX-A injection was independent ambulation (36.4%, n=95), ambulation with a walker (27.6%, n=72), and non-ambulatory (31.8%, n=83). A few patients (4.2%, n=11) were able to ambulate with a cane or crutch at the time of injection. Participants were characterized according to BTX-A dose, CP etiology, motor involvement pattern, muscles injected, ambulatory ability, and use of oral tone medications. Follow-up records were searched for reported adverse events (AEs), with a mean time to AE assessment of 6.5 weeks (SD 3.38). The AE occurrence was determined for doses of 0 to 4.9 units/kg, 5 to 9.9 units/kg, 10 to 14.9 units/kg, 15 to 19.9 units/kg, and 20 to 25 units/kg. The overall AE occurrence was 4.2%. Standard doses of BTX-A had side-effect occurrences of 3.9% for 5 to 10 units/kg and 7.6% for 10 to 15 units/kg. Among higher doses (15-20 units/kg and 20–25 units/kg) the AE occurrence was 3.5% and 8.6% respectively. No patient developed botulism. AEs were randomly distributed across dosing groups, CP etiologies, clinical phenotypes, ambulatory status, and treatment duration. All doses were associated with a significant increase in passive range of motion using the Tardieu scale. We conclude that higher dose BTX-A is safe in children with a spectrum of CP phenotypes and are well tolerated over time.