Eleven patients with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy and eight patients with idiopathic congestive cardiomyopathy underwent extensive neuromuscular studies to determine if a skeletal myopathy is associated with uncomplicated primary cardiomyopathy. The clinical examination revealed peripheral neuropathies in six patients, but no evidence of muscle weakness or atrophy. Nerve conduction studies demonstrated a neuropathy in five of these six and in one other patient: three were in the hypertrophic group and three in the congestive group. Seven patients had abnormal electromyography, but none had characteristic myopathic changes. Of these seven patients, muscle biopsies showed denervation in two patients in the congestive group and type II atrophy in two patients in the hypertrophic group. We found no evidence ofprimary skeletal muscle involvement; however, neuropathic features and biopsy changes of denervation were present in both groups.