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April 1970

Disuse Atrophy of Muscle: Histochemistry and Electron Microscopy

Author Affiliations

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

Arch Neurol. 1970;22(4):309-320. doi:10.1001/archneur.1970.00480220023005

THE application of refined morphologic techniques to human neuromuscular disorders in recent years produced greater diagnostic accuracy in established diseases and recognition of increasing numbers of previously undescribed disorders. Unfortunately, many of these recent observations provide no clear-cut explanation of, or obvious application to, the pathogenesis of neuromuscular disease.

When applied to classical experimental conditions in animals, these same methods allow more meaningful observations of cause and effect. Several investigators1-3 studied the effect of denervation on histochemical staining of various types of muscle fibers. Pellegrino and Franzini4 investigated similar stages of denervation with electron microscopic techniques. Engel et al5 reported the histochemical investigation of muscle after tenotomy, while Walker and his coworkers6 have published related electron microscopic observations. Karpati and Engel7 investigated the effects of cordotomy on muscle by histochemical techniques. Various toxic myopathies have received considerable attention in the ultrastructural literature.

Little attention