The role of electrodiagnosis with long exercise test in mcardle disease

Muscle Nerve. 2018 Jan 19. doi: 10.1002/mus.26074. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: In this study we evaluated the role of an electrodiagnostic provocative test (long exercise test) in McArdle disease.

Methods: Twenty-five McArdle patients and 2 control groups underwent an electrodiagnostic protocol with long exercise test (LET), consisting of recording the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) before and after 5 minutes of isometric contraction.

Results: The LET disclosed a postexercise decrease in CMAP amplitude in 23 of 25 McArdle patients. The immediate and long-lasting decrease differentiated McArdle patients from controls. Patients with a normal LET demonstrated milder symptoms and/or residual myophosphorylase activity.

Discussion: The LET is a sensitive, safe, and noninvasive provocative test that may guide clinicians toward molecular analysis of the myophosphorylase gene. The abnormalities observed on LET point toward complex biochemical mechanisms determined by the absence of myophosphorylase, beyond simple glycolytic blockade (ionic pump dysfunction, sarcolemmal inexcitability). The normal LET in patients with milder symptoms indicates a relationship of the LET with clinical severity, thus identifying it as a potential outcome measure. Muscle Nerve, 2018.

Keywords: McArdle disease; electromyography; glycogenosis type V; ionic pump dysfunction; long exercise test; outcome measure.