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Contractile properties are impaired in congenital myopathies

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The ratio between muscle strength and muscle cross-sectional area is called the specific force. Fatty replacement of muscles is seen in many myopathies, affecting the specific force, without necessarily affecting the ability of the remaining muscle fibers to contract. This ability is called the contractility and is the ratio between muscle strength and the lean muscle cross-sectional area, i.e. the contractile cross-sectional area. We hypothesized that contractility is disrupted in patients with congenital myopathy, because of defects in contractile proteins of the sarcomere. Peak torque across ankle and knee joints was measured by isokinetic dynamometry in 16 patients with congenital myopathy and 13 healthy controls. Five patients only participated partially in the dynamometer measurements due to severe muscle weakness. Dixon MRI technique was used to quantify muscle fat fractions and calculate cross-sectional area. Patients with congenital myopathy had lower cross-sectional area in all muscle groups (P<0.01), higher fat fraction (P<0.01) and less strength (P<0.005) in all studied muscle groups. Their fat content was more than doubled and peak torque lower than half that in healthy controls. Muscle contractility was reduced (P<0.01) in three of four patient muscle groups. In conclusion, muscle contractility was reduced in patients with congenital myopathy, across different diagnoses, and was independent of the level of muscle fat fraction, suggesting that intrinsic defects of the myocyte are responsible for reduced contractility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuromuscular disorders : NMD
Volume30
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)649-655
Number of pages7
ISSN0960-8966
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

ID: 61072352