BACKGROUND Many polio patients develop problems such as cold intolerance in the affected limbs, which seems to be due to sympathetic nervous system dysfunction. This study aimed to investigate whether there is a sympathetic system dysfunction in old-polio patients by means of the systematic skin response test. METHOD Forty old-polio patients and 20 healthy subjects were included in the study. Disease duration was 31.5 years (19-49 years) in the patient group. Sympathetic skin responses were obtained in all the subjects' limbs. Thirteen patients had right lower limb paresis/paralysis, 14 had left limb paresis/paralysis and 13 had paresis/paralysis of both lower limbs. The upper limbs were unaffected in all the patients. RESULTS Although there was no significant difference between sympathetic skin response latencies of the case and control groups, the amplitude values of the sympathetic skin response in the patient's lower extremities were significantly lower than those in the control group. CONCLUSION There was a sympathetic nervous system dysfunction in some old-polio patients. This finding might be useful in evaluation and treatment of old-polio patients, developing new problems.