A forearm exercise screening test for mitochondrial myopathy

Tina D Jensen, Pedram Kazemi-Esfarjani, Elwira Skomorowska, John Vissing


BACKGROUND: The authors hypothesized that impaired oxygen extraction in mitochondrial myopathy (MM) results in a high oxygen saturation in venous effluent blood from working muscle and that this phenomenon can be used as a diagnostic tool for MM.

METHODS: Twelve patients with MM, 10 patients with muscular dystrophy, and 12 healthy subjects were studied. All subjects performed intermittent static handgrip exercise (1/2 Hz) at 40% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) for 3 minutes. Cubital venous oxygen saturation and brachial artery flow were measured in the exercised arm.

RESULTS: Exercise-induced venous oxygen desaturation was smaller in patients with MM (Delta - 7 +/- 5%) than in subjects with muscular dystrophy (Delta - 38 +/- 2%; p = 0.00001) and healthy subjects (Delta - 43 +/- 2%; p = 0.0000002). MVC and exercise blood flow were similar in patients with MM (18 +/- 3 kg; 436 +/- 65 mL/min) and patients with muscular dystrophy (15 +/- 3 kg; 460 +/- 85 mL/min), but were higher in healthy subjects (32 +/- 4 kg; 630 +/- 58 mL/min; p < 0.03). In seven patients with MM and seven patients with McArdle disease, studied with a slightly different protocol, exercise-induced oxygen desaturation was also impaired in MM (Delta - +/- 5%) compared with McArdle disease (Delta - 26 +/- 3%; p = 0.007).

CONCLUSION: Oxygen desaturation in venous blood from exercising muscle is markedly lower in patients with mitochondrial myopathy than in subjects with other muscle diseases and healthy subjects, suggesting that a forearm exercise test can be a diagnostic screening tool for mitochondrial myopathy.

Udgave nummer10
Sider (fra-til)1533-8
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 28 maj 2002


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