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February 1993

Quantitative Evaluation of Muscle Weakness in Scleroderma Patients Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine (Dermatology); Department of Medicine (Rheumatology); Department of Radiology Vanderbilt University and Veterans Administration Medical Center Nashville, TN 37232

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(2):246-247. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680230136025

To the Editor.—  Muscle weakness in patients with scleroderma is difficult to diagnose and treat.1 A patient with diffuse scleroderma who had malaise and weakness was evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)2,3 to characterize the morphologic and biochemical aspects of the myopathy.

Report of a Case.—  In early 1990, a previously healthy 56-year-old white man noticed a slowly progressive weakness in his shoulders and thighs. He also experienced fatigue, Raynaud's phenomenon in his hands and feet, and slowly progressive tightening of the skin over his extremities. Mild hypertension was controlled by treatment for the last 8 years. He did not smoke, took no other medications, and had no known exposure to toxic chemicals. In May 1990, he had hidebound skin over both the thighs and arms to the middle of the arm as well as induration over the chest and hip girdle. Heart

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