Introduction: Mutations in the CAV3 gene are usually inherited in an autosomal dominant manner and lead to distinct disorders including limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 1C, rippling muscle disease, and isolated creatine kinase elevation.
Patients and methods: The features of the first patients with caveolin-3 deficiency from Greece are presented. Patients' phenotypes ranged from asymptomatic creatine kinase elevation to severe weakness of lower extremities. Clinical evaluation disclosed muscle hypertrophy in 2 patients, whereas percussion-induced muscle mounding was a consistent finding in all of them. Muscle histopathology was variable and unrelated with disease severity. The diagnosis was based on the immunohistochemical study of caveolin-3 expression and molecular analysis of the caveolin-3 gene.
Conclusions: Clinical manifestations and histochemical findings in caveolinopathy patients may be mild or nonspecific or overlapping with features of other muscular dystrophies. Immunohistochemical study of caveolin-3 expression on muscle biopsy should be routinely performed when investigating isolated hyperCKemia or undetermined myopathy especially in the presence of percussion-induced muscle mounding.