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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 70--74

Nemaline rod myopathy: A rare form of myopathy

1 Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pediatric, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Electron Microscopy Division of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
C Sarkar
Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.30433

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Nemaline rod myopathy (NM) is a rare form of congenital myopathy characterized by slowly progressive or nonprogressive muscle weakness and pathognomonic rod-like structures within the muscle fibers. To the best of our knowledge, this is first documentation of the clinicopathological features of this rare entity from India. All cases of NM diagnosed in our laboratory were retrieved. Clinical and pathological features were reviewed. During a period of 1.5 years (Jan 2004 to June 2005), we received 750 muscle biopsies for various reasons. Of which, 15 were diagnosed as congenital myopathies and four as nemaline rod myopathies. Thus, NM comprises 0.53% of all muscle diseases and 22.6% of all congenital myopathies. All of them presented in childhood (first five years of life) with generalized hypotonia, feeding problems, repeated respiratory infections and muscle weakness. Both males and females were equally affected. The CPK levels were normal and EMG was myopathic. Microscopic examination revealed minimal changes but characteristic red-colored material was seen on modified Gomori trichrome staining which was immunopositive to alpha actinin. Ultrastructural examination confirmed this material to be nemaline rods. NM, although a rare form of congenital myopathies, should be suspected in children who present with generalized hypotonia, repeated chest infections and slowly progressive muscle weakness. This report highlights the importance of histochemistry and ultrastructural examination in the diagnosis of this entity, in the absence of the availability of methodology for genetic studies.


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Online since 20th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow