What are myopathies?

Updated: Dec 28, 2017
  • Author: Courtney A Bethel, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Myopathy is a muscle disease unrelated to any disorder of innervation or neuromuscular junction. Etiologies vary widely. The common symptoms are muscle weakness, impaired function in activities of daily life, and, rarely, muscle pain and tenderness. Presence of discolored or dark urine suggests myoglobinuria.

For the emergency physician, it is important to distinguish neurologic from muscular dysfunction. However, in the face of profound weakness, establishing ABCs (airway, breathing, circulation) with attention to airway and aspiration precautions and providing supportive care are indicated while inpatient consultation and detailed studies are performed.

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