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Muscle Nerve. 2000 Apr;23(4):641-5.

McArdle's disease presenting with asymmetric, late-onset arm weakness.

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Department of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75235-8897, USA.


McArdle's disease or myophosphorylase deficiency is one of the most common muscle glycogenoses and typically presents in childhood or adolescence with exercise intolerance, myalgia, myoglobinuria, and cramps in exercising muscle. We describe an elderly man who developed asymmetric proximal arm weakness at age 73. He had no history of exercise-induced cramps, myalgias, or myoglobinuria. Creatine kinase levels were elevated, serum lactate did not rise on ischemic exercise testing, and muscle biopsy showed a vacuolar myopathy with absent myophosphorylase activity. This unusual case demonstrates that McArdle's disease may present with fixed, asymmetric proximal weakness at an advanced age and should be considered in this clinical setting, especially when a history of poor exercise tolerance can be elicited.

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