Aim: To assess the efficacy and safety of repeat abobotulinumtoxinA injections in reducing upper limb spasticity in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Method: This was a double-blind, repeat-cycle study (NCT02106351) in children with CP (2–17y). Children were randomized to receive 2U/kg (control), 8U/kg, or 16U/kg abobotulinumtoxinA injections into the target muscle group (wrist or elbow flexors) and additional muscles alongside occupational therapy via a home-exercise therapy program (HETP; minimum five 15min sessions/wk). Children received 8U/kg or 16U/kg plus HETP in cycles 2 to 4. Results: During cycle 1, 210 children (126 males, 84 females; mean age [SD] 9y [4y 5mo], range 2–17y; n=70/group) had at least one upper limb abobotulinumtoxinA injection and 209 complied with the HETP. At week 6 of cycle 1, children in the 8U/kg or 16U/kg groups had significantly lower Modified Ashworth scale scores versus the 2U/kg group (primary outcome: treatment differences of –0.4 [p=0.012] and –0.7 [p<0.001] respectively). All groups improved on Physician Global Assessment and children in all groups achieved their treatment goals at least as expected. Therapeutic benefits were sustained during cycles 2 to 4; muscular weakness was the only treatment-related adverse event reported in at least one child/group (4.3% and 5.7% vs 1.4% respectively). Interpretation: Treatment with 8U/kg or 16U/kg abobotulinumtoxinA significantly reduced upper limb spasticity versus the 2U/kg control dose. Therapeutic benefits of abobotulinumtoxinA plus HETP were sustained with repeat treatment cycles. What this paper adds: AbobotulinumtoxinA injections significantly reduced upper limb spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. Children treated with abobotulinumtoxinA and targeted home exercises showed global improvement and goal attainment. Benefits were sustained over 1 year with repeat cycles of abobotulinumtoxinA and home exercises. AbobotulinumtoxinA injections into the upper limb were well tolerated over 1 year.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology