Polio Home > Post-Polio Syndrome Diagnosis

In order to make a post-polio syndrome diagnosis, doctors will ask for a medical history, perform a physical exam, and recommend certain tests. A number of other medical conditions (such as depression and chronic fatigue syndrome) share similar symptoms with post-polio syndrome, so doctors will consider these before making a diagnosis.

An Overview of Post-Polio Syndrome Diagnosis

In order to make a post-polio syndrome diagnosis, the doctor will ask the patient a number of questions about:
 
  • Symptoms
  • Past medical history, including a history of poliovirus infection
  • Current medical conditions
  • Family history of medical conditions
  • Current medications.
 
In addition, the doctor will perform a physical exam to look for signs and symptoms of post-polio syndrome. The doctor will also recommend certain tests.
 

Tests Used to Make a Post-Polio Syndrome Diagnosis

In order to make a make a post-polio syndrome diagnosis and exclude other similar conditions, the doctor may recommend certain tests. These tests can help diagnose post-polio syndrome (or another medical condition), but they do not identify survivors at greatest risk for new progression of muscle weakness. Tests include:
 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Neuroimaging tests
  • Electromyography (EMG).
 
Less commonly, doctors may recommend a muscle biopsy or a spinal fluid analysis.
 

Diagnosing Post-Polio Syndrome or Another Medical Condition

A number of other medical conditions share some similar symptoms with post-polio syndrome. Before making a post-polio syndrome diagnosis, the doctor will consider these diseases and conditions, which include:
 
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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