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Health Questions

Myopathic changes

Definition

Myopathic changes are weakness or biopsy results that suggest a muscle disorder. The muscle disorder can be inherited, such as muscular dystrophy, or acquired, such as alcoholic myopathy.

Symptoms

The main symptom is weakness.

Other symptoms include cramps and stiffness.

Exams and Tests

An electromyogram can confirm a myopathy.

Sometimes, a muscle biopsy is done. This allows a tissue sample to be examined under a microscope and may confirm a specific disease.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause. It usually includes:

  • Bracing
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Preventing the condition from getting worse
  • Surgery (sometimes)

References

Chinnery PF. Muscle diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 429.


Review Date: 2/5/2012
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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