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Clin Exp Neurol. 1993;30:72-81.

Acute myopathy in status asthmaticus.

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Neurology Unit, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales.


An acute myopathy complicating life-threatening asthma has been reported with increasing frequency. We present a further 3 patients with this complication. Each patient had nerve conduction studies, electromyography and muscle biopsy performed. The records of a cohort of 12 patients, ventilated in an intensive care unit over a 16 month period, were reviewed. Eleven out of the 12 patients developed an elevated creatine kinase level (median 1311 U/L, range 185-9973 U/L) and 4 developed symptomatic weakness. The myopathy of status asthmaticus is not a homogeneous clinicopathological entity. Although myopathy is the predominant feature, there is a neuropathic component in some patients. Full recovery is usual. The combination of corticosteroids and neuromuscular blocking agents has been proposed as the possible cause of the complication.

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