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30 November 2016 : Case report  United Kingdom

McArdle Disease Misdiagnosed as Meningitis

Mistake in diagnosis, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Rare disease, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Renata Siciliani Scalco12ABDEF, Sherryl Chatfield1BE, Muhammad Hyder Junejo3EF, Suzanne Booth1DF, Jatin Pattni1DF, Richard Godfrey4EF, Ros Quinlivan15ADE*

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.900967

Am J Case Rep 2016; 17:905-908

Abstract

BACKGROUND: McArdle disease is a glycogen storage disorder mainly characterized by exercise intolerance. Prolonged muscle contracture is also a feature of this condition and may lead to rhabdomyolysis (RM), which is a serious event characterized by acute skeletal muscle damage. 

CASE REPORT: A 44-year-old female patient presented with an acute contracture of the posterior neck muscles, causing severe nuchal rigidity. The contracture was induced during a dental extraction as she held her mouth open for a prolonged period, with her neck in a rigid position. She presented with severe pain in her ear and head, as well as fever, vomiting, and confusion. Based on her symptoms, she was initially misdiagnosed with bacterial meningitis and experienced an acute allergic reaction to the systemic penicillin she was subsequently administered. Lumbar puncture results were normal. High serum creatine kinase (CK) levels, recurrent exercise-related muscle symptoms, and a previous history of recurrent myoglobinuria raised the suspicion of an underlying neuromuscular condition. McArdle disease was confirmed by muscle biopsy and a genetic test, which revealed that the patient was homozygous for the R50X mutation in the PYGM gene.

CONCLUSIONS: This case illustrates that even seemingly innocuous movements, if rapid isotonic or prolonged isometric in nature, can elicit a muscle contracture in McArdle disease patients. Here, we highlight the need for careful management in this patient population even during routine healthcare procedures. The allergic reaction to antibiotics emphasises that misdiagnoses may result in iatrogenic harm.

Keywords: Diagnostic Errors, Glycogen Storage Disease Type V, Meningism, rhabdomyolysis

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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923