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Neurology. 1980 Dec;30(12):1262-7.

3-methylhistidine excretion in myotonic dystrophy.


3-Methylhistidine (3-MH) excretion reflects the rate of muscle protein catabolism, since 3-MH occurs almost exclusively in muscle actin and myosin and is not reutilized or catabolized. We studied 3-MH excretion in 9 patients with myotonic dystrophy, 8 normals, and 10 disease controls with Duchenne dystrophy and other disorders. 3-MH excretion was expressed relative to muscle mass as determined by both urinary creatinine and total body potassium (40K method). Absolute 3-MH excretion was decreased in myotonic dystrophy patients but was normal when related to muscle mass. The finding of normal 3-MH excretion in myotonic dystrophy suggests that the muscle wasting in this disorder results from impaired anabolic processes rather than accelerated muscle destruction.

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