How does the acuity of symptom onset aid in the diagnosis 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

The acuity of symptom onset may aid in the diagnosis, as follows:

  • Weakness progressing over hours: Possible toxic etiology or one of episodic paralyses
  • Weakness developing over days: May be an acute dermatomyositis or rhabdomyolysis
  • Symptom development over a period of weeks: May be polymyositis, steroid myopathy, or myopathy resulting from endocrine causes (eg, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism)

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