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Permanent muscle weakness in hypokalemic periodic paralysis

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OBJECTIVE: To map the phenotypic spectrum in 55 individuals with mutations in CACNA1S known to cause hypokalemic periodic paralysis (HypoPP) using medical history, muscle strength testing, and muscle MRI.

METHODS: Adults with a mutation in CACNA1S known to cause HypoPP were included. Medical history was obtained. Muscle strength and MRI assessments were performed.

RESULTS: Fifty-five persons were included. Three patients presented with permanent muscle weakness and never attacks of paralysis. Seventeen patients presented with a mixed phenotype of periodic paralysis and permanent weakness. Thirty-one patients presented with the classical phenotype of periodic attacks of paralysis and no permanent weakness. Four participants were asymptomatic. Different phenotypes were present in 9 of 18 families. All patients with permanent weakness had abnormal replacement of muscle by fat on MRI. In addition, 20 of 35 participants with no permanent weakness had abnormal fat replacement of muscle on MRI. The most severely affected muscles were the paraspinal muscles, psoas, iliacus, the posterior muscles of the thigh and gastrocnemius, and soleus of the calf. Age was associated with permanent weakness and correlated with severity of weakness and fat replacement of muscle on MRI.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that phenotype in individuals with HypoPP-causing mutations in CACNA1S varies from asymptomatic to periodic paralysis with or without permanent muscle weakness or permanent weakness as sole presenting picture. Variable phenotypes are found within families. Muscle MRI reveals fat replacement in patients with no permanent muscle weakness, suggesting a convergence of phenotype towards a fixed myopathy with aging.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurology
Volume95
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)e342-e352
ISSN0028-3878
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Calcium Channels, L-Type/genetics, Cross-Sectional Studies, Denmark, Female, Humans, Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis/complications, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Muscle Weakness/genetics, Muscle, Skeletal/pathology, Mutation, Phenotype, Young Adult

ID: 61073070