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J Neurol Sci. 1975 Oct;26(2):147-57.

Histochemical and histopathological changes in skeletal muscle in late-onset hereditary distal myopathy (Welander).


Histochemical and histopathological staining methods were applied to muscle biopsy material from 13 patients with distal myopathy of late onset. Six cases showed slight to moderate histopathological changes and the normal distinction between Type I and Type II muscle fibres, based on their staining characteristics for myofibrillar ATPase, was well preserved. A selective Type I atrophy and an irregular distribution of oxidative enzyme and fat staining in Type I fibres were evident. In the other 7 cases, with moderate to advanced histopathological changes, there was a marked blurring of the normal difference observed in ATPase activity between Type I and TYpe II fibres. Thus, both types of fibre exhibited a high intensity of staining for myofibrillar ATPase at pH 9.4 without inhibition by acid preincubation (pH 4.3). These changes in phosphatase activity were found not only in atrophic fibres but also in normal-sized fibres without other signs of degeneration. Nuclear proliferation in chains and "ring fibres" were found. The early histopathological and histochemical changes in distal myopathy are strikingly similar to those of myotonic dystrophy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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