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Poult Sci. 1985 Aug;64(8):1591-5.

Deep pectoral myopathy: a penalty of successful selection for muscle growth.


Deep pectoral myopathy (DPM) is a disease that affects commercial poultry selected for large breast muscle development. The muscle affected by the disease is the supracoracoid muscle and usually one side of the breast musculature atrophies. The necrotic muscle has a characteristic pale green color. Heavy breeds of turkeys and broilers can be induced to show DPM by electrical stimulation of the breast muscle itself or by vigorous wing flapping; older birds are more susceptible. The cause of DPM is a fascial compartment too small to accommodate the enclosed supracoracoid muscle during vigorous exercise when the muscle increases its weight (and overall size) by about 20%. The inelastic compartment essentially strangulates the swollen, activated muscle. A possible means of correcting DPM is to train or exercise the flight muscles during the rapid growth phase of chicks or poults. Feed, for example, could be positioned above floor level so that birds would have to flutter up to reach it. There is also evidence to suggest a genetic component to the disease. Hence, an indicator such as high plasma creatine kinase levels may be used as a selection criterion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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