Muscular dystrophy or MD is a set of inherited disorders characterized by skeletal muscle weakness and death of muscle cells and tissue. Muscular dystrophy is an inherited condition that manifests in symptoms such as frequent falls, drooping eyelids, loss of muscle size, delayed walking and muscle development. A person suffering MD has poor balance, waddling gait and respiratory difficulty. The symptoms tend to get worse over time. Muscle dystrophy can result in abnormally curved spine (scoliosis), low muscle tone (hypotonia) and arrhythmia. DNA blood test, CPK blood test and muscle biopsy is done to diagnose muscular dystrophy. Physical therapy helps gain some muscle strength and function. Surgery is often resorted to. Keeping active is essential to prevent quick degeneration.
CK blood test
A Creatinine Kinase test is a blood test that measures the levels of Creatinine phosphokinase (CPK). It is an enzyme found predominantly in the heart tissue, brain and skeletal muscle. The CK blood test is commonly used to diagnose the existence of heart muscle damage. The CK blood test result shows an increase above normal in a person's blood test about six hours after the start of a heart attack.
It reaches its peak in about 18 hours and returns to normal in 24 to 36 hours. When the total CPK level is substantially elevated, then it is indicative of injury or stress to heart, brain or skeletal areas. The small amount of CPK that is normally in the blood comes from the muscles. The CPK blood test also helps in cost-effective management of people with suspected coronary atherosclerosis. It also evaluates the extent of muscle damage caused by drugs, trauma or immobility.
Abnormal CK-MB (one of three CK isoenzymes) or troponin levels are associated with Myocyte Necrosis and the diagnosis of Myocardial infarction. The Cardiac Markers of Cardiac Myocyte Necrosis (damage to the Cardiac muscle cells), myoglobin, CK, CK-MB and troponin I and T are primarily used to identify acute Myocardial Infarction.
It is used in early detection of dermatomyositis and polymyositis. It is also used to distinguish malignant hyperthermia from a post operative infection. It helps to discover carriers of muscular dystrophy.
The normal range for Creatinine Kinase (CK or CPK) blood test:
Male: 38 - 174 units/L
Female: 96 - 140 units/L
Increased levels of CK also can be found in viral myositis and hypothyroidism. Higher than normal CPK levels is indicative of the following conditions:
- Heart attack
- Delirium Tremens
- Electric shock
- Muscular dystrophy
- Pulmonary infarction
Serum CKMB levels are tested to check for myocardial injury. It is another important cardiac marker. The primary source of CKMB is myocardium although it is also found in skeletal muscle. Typically CKMB tests have now been replaced by Troponin test. But in cases of abnormal Troponin assay results or suspected re-infarction in the hospital, the CKMB serum test is still used.
High levels of CK MB are noticed in cases of polymyositis and rhabdomyolysis. Patients suffering pulmonary embolism, hypothyroidism, and muscular dystrophy or carbon monoxide poisoning can also show higher levels of serum CKMB. The reference range is about 56.2 pg/mL.
Myalgia is a common clinical symptom of many patients especially in adults. The occurrence of muscular pain - Myalgia has predisposing factors such as viral infections, trauma or even conditions that are related to muscular dystrophy and dehydration. The identification of myalgia in association with other symptoms paves a clear diagnostic path to treat this disease.
Myalgia in some cases if untreated can be fatal as it is closely associated with the motor and sensory response of the patient. Consistent muscular weakness in a person can lead to a variety of medical complications. Myalgia associated with viral infections has to be treated immediately as it may interfere with day to day activities of the person. The etiologies related to myalgia can be of various types such as myopathy and myositis respectively. Fibromyalgia can lead to morbidity if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage. In many cases antimalarial drugs, corticosteroids have also been reported to cause myalgia. The most common group of drugs recommended for myalgia are analgesics such as acetaminophen.