Inpatient Diagnosis and Management of Neuromuscular Disorders

Leana Doherty, Vinay Chaudhry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although many neuromuscular conditions are evaluated on an outpatient basis owing to their chronic or progressive nature, more urgent evaluation and management is often required for the inpatient presenting with acute to subacute focal or generalized numbness or weakness. This review focuses on clinical pattern recognition and basic anatomic localization principles to aid in the identification of common, as well as some less frequently encountered, neuromuscular disorders in hospitalized patients. The characteristic clinical and diagnostic features, associated complications, and recommended treatments of key neuromuscular conditions with acute and subacute manifestations are discussed. These conditions can be life-threatening in some cases, such as in Guillain-Barré syndrome, owing to associated oropharyngeal weakness, respiratory failure, or marked dysautonomia. Prompt recognition of the clinical and pathologic features is therefore necessary to reduce associated morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-510
Number of pages18
JournalSeminars in neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • acute weakness
  • inflammatory myopathy
  • myasthenia gravis
  • neuromuscular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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