Long Exercise Test in the Interattack Period of Periodic Paralysis: A Useful and Sensitive Diagnostic Tool

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The reference values of long exercise test are inconsistent in previous studies. Our research aims to determine the reference values and improve diagnostic efficiency of long exercise test in periodic paralysis.


In this study, 100 healthy controls, 35 non–periodic paralysis patients, and 47 patients with periodic paralysis were recruited. The procedures of long exercise test were conducted following McMannis(1986) method.


The decrease rate in compound muscle action potential amplitudes was correlated with gender, and it was not influenced by age, height, weight, and exercise. After analyzing receiver operating characteristic curves, the compound muscle action potential amplitude decrease rate was stratified by sex. The mean area under the curve, sensitivity, and specificity were higher in male and female than all pooled subjects. The reference values of compound muscle action potential amplitude decrease rate were 46.8% in male and 26.9% in female, respectively.


The long exercise test is a useful and sensitive diagnostic tool for primary periodic paralysis and thyrotoxic periodic paralysis. However, the reference values should be set by sex, which has better diagnostic performance, sensitivity, and specificity.

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