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Muscle Nerve. 2010 Jun;41(6):758-62. doi: 10.1002/mus.21615.

Absent, unrecognized, and minimal myotonic discharges in myotonic dystrophy type 2.

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Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


The purpose of this study was to describe the frequency of absent, unrecognized, or minimal myotonic discharges (MDs) in myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2). We performed a retrospective review of needle electromyography (EMG) data prior to genetic diagnosis in 49 DM2 patients at the Mayo Clinic. MDs were not reported on first or repeat EMG studies (n = 8) and not found in archived recordings of 4 patients (8%); archived EMG recordings (n = 4) confirmed the absence of MDs (n = 2), including 1 patient with normal insertional activity in all muscles, and misinterpretation of MDs as slow fibrillation potentials (n = 1) and complex repetitive discharge (CRD) activity (n = 1). Eight (16%) patients had minimal classic MDs with diffusely increased insertional activity, including waning-only MDs in all patients in this group with archived EMG recordings (n = 5). Diffuse MDs were found in 33 (67%) patients. Absent or minimal MDs do not exclude DM2. Over-reliance on diffuse MDs in patients who present with myopathy may lead to delay in genetic diagnosis of DM2.

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