Scapuloperoneal syndromes are characterized by their distribution of muscle weakness and wasting. The reported pattern of inheritance has been variable. Both neurogenic and myopathic forms of autosomally dominantly inherited scapuloperoneal syndrome have been described. It has been suggested that these are variants of other neuromuscular diseases. We examined 44 members from a family with 14 members affected with a scapuloperoneal syndrome. Physiological and histological analysis implied that this condition is predominantly myopathic. Linkage analysis was done to confirm the genetic etiology of the disease in this family and to evaluate the possibility that it is a allelic variant of other neuromuscular diseases. Genetic analysis demonstrated linkage of the disease to chromosome 12, which makes it genetically distinct from other loci known to cause neuromuscular disease. Muscle fibers with hyaline desmin-containing cytoplasmic inclusions in combination with focal myopathic changes may be a disease-specific morphological marker of the disease.