What should be the focus of history in the evaluation of myopathies?

Updated: Dec 28, 2017
  • Author: Courtney A Bethel, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Important information to obtain during the patient’s history includes the following:

  • Family history: Any periodic paralysis or muscular dystrophy?
  • Personal history: Presence of autoimmune disease, endocrinopathy, renal insufficiency, and/or alcoholism? Previous episodes of severe weakness (eg, postexercise, after exposure to cold [possibly one of periodic paralyses]; post high-carbohydrate meals [familial hypokalemic periodic paralysis])
  • Medications (eg, steroids, lipid-lowering agents, retroviral agents, alcohol, colchicine, pentachlorophenol [PCP], heroin)
  • Occupational and travel history (potential ingestion of barium chloride or carbonate [acute hypokalemic paralysis])

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