Relevance of sonography for botulinum toxin treatment of cervical dystonia: an expert statement

Axel Schramm, Tobias Bäumer, Urban Fietzek, Susanne Heitmann, Uwe Walter, Wolfgang H. Jost*

*Corresponding author for this work
33 Citations (Scopus)


Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT A) is the first-line treatment for cervical dystonia. However, although BoNT A has a favorable safety profile and is effective in the majority of patients, in some cases the treatment outcome is disappointing or side effects occur when higher doses are used. It is likely that in such cases either the target muscles were not injected accurately or unintended weakness of non-target muscles occurred. It has been demonstrated in clinical trials for spastic movement disorders that sonography-guided BoNT A injections could improve treatment outcome. As the published evidence for a benefit of sonography-guided BoNT injection in patients with cervical dystonia is scarce, it is the aim of this review to discuss the relevance of sonography in this indication and provide a statement from clinical experts for its use. The clear advantage of sonography-guided injections is non-invasive, real-time visualization of the targeted muscle, thus improving the precision of injections and potentially the treatment outcomes as well as avoiding adverse effects. Other imaging techniques are of limited value due to high costs, radiation exposure or non-availability in clinical routine. In the hands of a trained injector, sonography is a quick and non-invasive imaging technique. Novel treatment concepts of cervical dystonia considering the differential contributions of distinct cranial and cervical muscles can reliably be implemented only by use of imaging-guided injection protocols.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1457-1463
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2015


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