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Neurology. 1996 Mar;46(3):731-6.

Muscle is electrically inexcitable in acute quadriplegic myopathy.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283, USA.


We directly stimulated muscle in three patients with acute quadriplegic myopathy to determine whether paralyzed muscle in this syndrome is electrically excitable. Two of the patients had been treated with neuromuscular blocking agents and corticosteroids, and one patient had been treated with corticosteroids alone. We found that paralyzed muscle is electrically inexcitable in affected patients. Muscle regained electrical excitability over weeks to months. The recovery of muscle excitability paralleled the clinical recovery of patients, suggesting that paralysis in this syndrome is secondary to electrical inexcitability of muscle membrane.

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