The clinical and myopathological features of oculopharyngodistal myopathy in a Chinese family

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Oculopharyngodistal myopathy is a rare type of hereditary myopathy characterised pathologically by the changes of muscular dystrophy with rimmed vacuoles and intra-muscular tubulofilamentous inclusions. Here we report the clinical and myopathological changes in a Chinese family with oculopharyngodistal myopathy. The proband showed external ophthalmoplegia, dysphagia, distal weakness and atrophy in all extremities. Serum creatine kinase level was mildly elevated and a myopathic pattern with myotonic discharge was demonstrated by electromyography (EMG). Molecular genetic analysis showed that the number of trinucleotide repeat expansions in the polyadenylate-binding protein nuclear 1 gene was within the normal limit. No mutations were indentified in the GNE gene. Five other persons with similar symptoms were found in the same generation. Muscle biopsy was performed on the tibialis anterior muscle in the proband. Muscular dystrophy changes with rimmed vacuoles were the main histopathological changes. Ultrastructural examination revealed numerous tubulofilamentous inclusions in both sarcoplasm and nucleus. EMG showed myotonic discharges in oculopharyngodistal myopathy. In addition to the sarcoplasm inclusions, we confirmed that tubulofilamentous inclusions appeared also in the nucleus.

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