The ratio of maximal handgrip force and maximal cycloergometry power as a diagnostic tool to screen for metabolic myopathies

Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 1;10(1):8865. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65797-1.


Metabolic myopathies comprise a diverse group of inborn errors of intermediary metabolism affecting skeletal muscle, and often present clinically as an inability to perform normal exercise. Our aim was to use the maximal mechanical performances achieved during two functional tests, isometric handgrip test and cycloergometer, to identify metabolic myopathies among patients consulting for exercise-induced myalgia. Eighty-three patients with exercise-induced myalgia and intolerance were evaluated, with twenty-three of them having a metabolic myopathy (McArdle, n = 9; complete myoadenylate deaminase deficiency, n = 10; respiratory chain deficiency, n = 4) and sixty patients with non-metabolic myalgia. In all patients, maximal power (MP) was determined during a progressive exercise test on a cycloergometer and maximal voluntary contraction force (MVC) was assessed using a handgrip dynamometer. The ratio between percent-predicted values for MVC and MP was calculated for each subject (MVC%pred:MP%pred ratio). In patients with metabolic myopathy, the MVC%pred:MP%pred ratio was significantly higher compared to non-metabolic myalgia (1.54 ± 0.62 vs. 0.92 ± 0.25; p < 0.0001). ROC analysis of MVC%pred:MP%pred ratio showed AUC of 0.843 (0.758-0.927, 95% CI) for differentiating metabolic myopathies against non-metabolic myalgia. The optimum cutoff was taken as 1.30 (se = 69.6%, sp = 96.7%), with a corresponding diagnostic odd ratio of 66.3 (12.5-350.7, 95% CI). For a pretest probability of 15% in our tertiary reference center, the posttest probability for metabolic myopathy is 78.6% when MVC%pred:MP%pred ratio is above 1.3. In conclusion, the MVC%pred:MP%pred ratio is appropriate as a screening test to distinguish metabolic myopathies from non-metabolic myalgia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type V / diagnosis
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Myalgia / pathology
  • Odds Ratio
  • ROC Curve
  • Tertiary Care Centers