Author(s): Ruff RL, Weissmann J
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Abstract The atrophy produced by endocrine disorders is primarily due to alterations in protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Type II muscle fibers are more severely affected than are Type I fibers. Steroid myopathy and the myopathy associated with excess ACTH have a typical pattern of proximal weakness affecting the legs more than the arms. Steroid myopathy is usually not apparent until other signs of glucocorticoid excess are present. Treatments of steroid myopathy are as follows: Lower the dose of steroid, use a nonfluorinated glucocorticoid, and exercise or physical therapy. Adrenal insufficiency produces generalized weakness, muscle cramping, and fatigue in 50 per cent of patients. Some patients also develop hyperkalemic paralysis. The treatment is hormone replacement. Thyrotoxicosis produces myopathy caused by net protein catabolism, accelerated basal metabolic rate and impaired carbohydrate metabolism. Shortening of contraction time may result from accelerated myosin ATPase activity and enhanced calcium uptake by the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Depolarization of the muscle fiber and impaired Na-K activity in muscle may predispose to thyrotoxic periodic paralysis. Neuromuscular presynaptic impairment may account for the worsening of myasthenia gravis by thyrotoxicosis. In hypothyroidism, impaired energy metabolism may limit force generation. Slow contraction and relaxation reflect reduction in myosin ATPase activity and impaired calcium uptake by the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Treatment for thyroid-associated muscle disorders is restoration of a euthyroid state. Muscle weakness associated with hypopituitarism is due to loss of thyroid and adrenal cortical hormones. Children require growth hormone for muscle development. T3 and growth hormone synergize to maintain normal protein synthesis. Primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism and osteomalacia are often associated with proximal weakness and fatigability. The myopathy improves with restoration of normal PTH levels and vitamin D replacement. Hypoparathyroidism and pseudohypothyroidism are associated with tetany. Tetany is worsened by alkalosis and is treated by calcium and magnesium replacement.
This article was published in Neurol Clin
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation