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Keywords:

  • action potentials;
  • electromyography;
  • myasthenia gravis;
  • neuromuscular junction disorders;
  • repetitive nerve stimulation

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Small-amplitude, short-duration motor unit action potentials are non-specific findings seen in myopathies and neuromuscular junction (NMJ) disorders. NMJ studies (repetitive nerve stimulation and single-fiber electromyography) can determine if such findings are related to NMJ abnormalities but are not considered routinely in atypical cases. Methods: Medical records of 338 patients with confirmed NMJ disorders were reviewed to identify cases with a clinical or electrodiagnostic impression of myopathy during initial evaluation. A history of muscle biopsy with findings that did not support a myopathic process was required for inclusion. Results: Four patients met the inclusion criteria. NMJ studies were abnormal in all cases. One patient had elevated acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Three patients were antibody negative: 2 demonstrated immunotherapy responsiveness, and 1 had a Rapsyn mutation. Conclusions: NMJ disorders may mimic myopathies, and NMJ studies should be performed to clarify so-called “myopathic” electromyographic findings to avoid unnecessary testing and delayed diagnosis. Muscle Nerve 50: 854–856, 2014