Metabolic Myopathies: Update 2009

imageMetabolic myopathies are inborn errors of metabolism that result in impaired energy production due to defects in glycogen, lipid, mitochondrial, and possibly adenine nucleotide metabolism. Fatty acid oxidation defects (FAOD), glycogen storage disease, and mitochondrial myopathies represent the 3 main groups of disorders, and some consider myoadenylate deaminase (AMPD1 deficiency) to be a metabolic myopathy. Clinically, a variety of neuromuscular presentations are seen at different ages of life. Newborns and infants commonly present with hypotonia and multisystem involvement (liver and brain), whereas onset later in life usually presents with exercise intolerance with or without progressive muscle weakness and myoglobinuria. In general, the glycogen storage diseases result in high-intensity exercise intolerance, whereas the FAODs and the mitochondrial myopathies manifest predominately during endurance-type activity or under fasted or other metabolically stressful conditions. The clinical examination is often normal, and testing requires various combinations of exercise stress testing, serum creatine kinase activity and lactate concentration determination, urine organic acids, muscle biopsy, neuroimaging, and specific genetic testing for the diagnosis of a specific metabolic myopathy. Prenatal screening is available in many countries for several of the FAODs through liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Early identification of these conditions with lifestyle measures, nutritional intervention, and cofactor treatment is important to prevent or delay the onset of muscle weakness and to avoid potential life-threatening complications such as rhabdomyolysis with resultant renal failure or hepatic failure. This article will review the key clinical features, diagnostic tests, and treatment recommendations for the more common metabolic myopathies, with an emphasis on mitochondrial myopathies.


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