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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2001 Sep-Oct;19(5):583-6.

Emotional distress induced rhabdomyolysis in an individual with carnitine palmitoly-transferase deficiency.

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Rheumatology Department, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Queensland, Australia.


A 48-year-old male patient with underlying CPT II enzyme deficiency is described. Emotional stress appeared to precipitate recurrent myalgias, rhabdomyolysis and reversible renal impairment over a 40-year period. Our search of the English literature indicates this to be the first time that the emotional stress has been documented to precipitate the CPT II syndrome. Although the pathogenesis of this syndrome has yet to be established, existing knowledge is briefly reviewed and the likely metabolic and neuroendocrine mechanisms which link emotional stress to muscle metabolism are examined. These mechanisms influence the extent of lipolysis or glycolysis that occurs during the process of muscle ATP generation. It is suggested that neuroendocrine and other stress related changes which favour lipolysis over glycolysis adversely affect muscle energy metabolism in patients whose mitochondria are deficient in CPT II enzyme. Possible treatment strategies are those that favour glycolysis over fatty acid metabolism and include a variety of ways of modulating sympathetic and parasympathetic tone. The use of carbohydrate supplementation beta-blockers and anxiolytic agents is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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