AskDefine | Define flaccid

Dictionary Definition

flaccid adj
1 lacking in strength or firmness or resilience; "flaccid muscles"; "took his lax hand in hers"; "gave a limp handshake"; "a limp gesture as if waving away all desire to know" G.K.Chesterton; "a slack grip" [syn: lax, limp, slack]
2 lacking firmness or stiffness; "flabby around the middle"; "flaccid cheeks" [syn: flabby]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a UK /ˈflæs.ɪd/, /"fl

Extensive Definition

Flaccid paralysis is a clinical manifestation characterized by weakness or paralysis and reduced muscle tone without other obvious cause (e.g., trauma).



The term acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) is often used to describe a sudden onset, as might be found with polio.
AFP is the most common sign of acute polio, and used for surveillance during polio outbreaks. AFP is also associated with a number of other pathogenic agents including enteroviruses, echoviruses, and adenoviruses, among others.


The Clostridium botulinum bacteria are the cause of botulism. Vegetative cells of C. botulinum may be injested. Introduction of the bacteria may also occur via endospores in a wound. When the bacteria is in vivo they induce flaccid paralysis. This happens because C. botulinum produces a toxin which blocks the release of acetylcholine. When this occurs, the muscles are unable to contract.


Flaccid paralysis can be associated with a lower motor neurone lesion. This is in contrast to a upper motor neurone lesion, which often presents with spastic paralysis. Included in AFP's list are Poliomyelitis, Transverse myelitis,Guillain-Barré syndrome, enteroviral encephalopathy, traumatic neuritis, Reye's syndrome etc. An AFP Surveillance programme is conducted to increase case yield of poliomyelitis. This includes collection of 2 stool samples within 14 days of onset of paralysis and identification of virus. and control of the outbreak and strenghthening immunisation in that area.


See also

External links

flaccid in Chinese: 弛缓性麻痹

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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