Chloroquine myopathy and myasthenia-like syndrome

Muscle Nerve. 1988 Feb;11(2):114-9. doi: 10.1002/mus.880110205.


A young woman on chronic corticosteroid treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus developed a myasthenia-like syndrome 7 weeks after starting chloroquine therapy. Discontinuation of chloroquine allowed symptomatic and immunological remission within 6 months. Ocular symptoms reappeared following a second short course of chloroquine. A motor-point biopsy revealed a vacuolar myopathy with membranous bodies in intramuscular nerves. We discuss the possible role of chloroquine in the pathogenesis of a myasthenia-like syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Chloroquine / adverse effects*
  • Chloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Muscular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Muscular Diseases / pathology
  • Myasthenia Gravis / chemically induced*


  • Chloroquine