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June 1984

Benign Focal Amyotrophy: Variant of Chronic Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Riggs and Gutmann) and Pathology (Dr Schochet), West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown.

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(6):678-679. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04210080090021

The phrase benign focal amyotrophy has been introduced to describe localized muscular atrophy postulated to be due to focal motor neuron disease.1-4 There is little reference, however, in the literature to this potentially "important and not uncommon neuromuscular disorder."3 We examined a man whose condition clinically fit the description of benign focal amyotrophy and found some evidence suggestive of a more diffuse motor neuron disease. Benign focal amyotrophy may be a variant of chronic spinal muscular atrophy.

REPORT OF A CASE  A 34-year-old man was seen because of wasting of muscles of his left calf. He was unable to date precisely the onset of this atrophy, but review of old photographs showed symmetrical calves 15 years prior to examination. He was certain that the left calf had been smaller than the right calf for at least eight years. His chief complaint was that he could no longer run