About Paraneoplastic Neurological Disorders (PND) > Muscle > Acute Necrotizing Myopathy

Acute Necrotizing Myopathy

Acute necrotizing myopathy is a rare disorder in which the muscle fibers suffer massive destruction (necrosis). The muscles involved are – need to pull out what applies

The term “myositis” means inflammation in the muscle. “Polymyositis” means that multiple muscles (generally most muscles of the body) are affected by the inflammation. “Dermatomyositis” means that in addition to the muscles, there is also involvement of the skin.

Both disorders cause similar muscle symptoms. Patients usually develop:

  • muscle pain or soreness (shoulders and thighs are frequently affected)
  • along with weakness that predominantly affects the hips and shoulders more than the hands and feet.
  • weakness can also affect the respiratory muscles causing difficulty breathing, and the muscles of the neck and throat making it difficult to hold up ones head and swallowing.

The clinical picture is rapid (the problems occur over days to a few weeks) and are very severe. Blood tests show extremely elevated muscle enzymes (mainly CK). These findings can also occur with other disorders unrelated to cancer, including toxic effects of some medications, or side effects of chemotherapy.

The diagnosis is made by clinical examination and studies combining blood tests, electrical studies (EMG/ nerve conduction studies) and muscle biopsy. The latter shows extensive muscle necrosis or destruction.

Many different cancers have been reported in association with this disorder. The treatment should be focused on the cancer. The prognosis is generally poor, but there are cases in which the neurologic symptoms responded to treatment of the tumor.

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