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January 1969

Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis: Intracellular Electromyographic Studies

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Arch Neurol. 1969;20(1):13-18. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480070023003

HYPERKALEMIC periodic paralysis (HPP) or adynamia episodica hereditaria is a familial disorder inherited as an autosomal dominant, with the onset in early life of episodes of flaccid muscle weakness during which there is a rise of the serum potassium (K+).1 The paralytic episodes may be precipitated by the ingestion of potassium salts or by a period of rest following exercise.

Many families with HPP also exhibit a cold-sensitive myotonia such as to suggest to some observers that adynamia episodica hereditaria and paramyotonia congenita of von Eulenberg are identical.2 In any case, the diagnostic term, HPP, accurately defines the syndrome under discussion.

It has been suggested on the basis of clinical and electromyographic findings that the paralytic attacks in HPP may be due to a reversible depolarization of the muscle fiber membrane.3-6 Creutzfeldt et al were able to demonstrate a fall of the resting potential of muscle fibers

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