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J Neurol. 2009 Jan;256(1):13-27. doi: 10.1007/s00415-009-0105-1. Epub 2009 Feb 9.

Joint hypermobility as a distinctive feature in the differential diagnosis of myopathies.

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Neuromuscular Centre Nijmegen, Dept. of Neurology, 935, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Congenital and adult-onset inherited myopathies represent a wide spectrum of syndromes. Classification is based upon clinical features and biochemical and genetic defects. Joint hypermobility is one of the distinctive clinical features that has often been underrecognized so far. We therefore present an overview of myopathies associated with joint hypermobility: Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy, Bethlem myopathy, congenital muscular dystrophy with joint hyperlaxity, multi-minicore disease, central core disease, and limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2E with joint hyperlaxity and contractures. We shortly discuss a second group of disorders characterised by both muscular features and joint hypermobility: the inherited disorders of connective tissue Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome. Furthermore, we will briefly discuss the extent and pattern of joint hypermobility in these myopathies and connective tissue disorders and propose two grading scales commonly used to score the severity of joint hypermobility. We will conclude focusing on the various molecules involved in these disorders and on their role and interactions in muscle and tendon, with a view to further elucidate the pathophysiology of combined hypermobility and myopathy. Hopefully, this review will contribute to enhanced recognition of joint hypermobility and thus be of aid in differential diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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