Journal of Neurology

, Volume 236, Issue 5, pp 292–295 | Cite as

Neurogenic muscle hypertrophy

Report of two cases
  • D. Pareyson
  • L. Morandi
  • V. Scaioli
  • R. Marazzi
  • A. Boiardi
  • A. Sghirlanzoni
Short Communications


Muscle hypertrophy is rare in denervating diseases. A patient with calf enlargement associated with L5–S1 radiculopathy and another with thenar, hypothenar, forearm and calf muscle hypertrophy in the course of chronic relapsing inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy are described. Gastrocnemius muscle biopsy revealed both type I and type II fibre hypertrophy in the former case and predominant type I fibre hypertrophy in the latter. Passive stretching and abnormal spontaneous muscular activity might have played a role in the origin of hypertrophy in both patients, but a satisfactory explanation for denervation hypertrophy has yet to be provided.

Key words

Muscle hypertrophy Neuropathies Spontaneous muscular activity Stretching 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Adams RD, Victor M (1985) Principles of neurology. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 1090–1100Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barron SA, Heffner RR Jr (1983) Abnormal spontaneous electrical activity and gross enlargement of muscle. Arch Neurol 40:515–518Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bernat JL, Ochoa JL (1978) Muscle hypertrophy after partial denervation: a human case. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 41:719–725Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bertorini TE, Igarashi M (1985) Postpoliomyelitis muscle pseudohypertrophy. Muscle Nerve 8:644–649Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bouwsma G, Van Wijngaarden GK (1980) Spinal muscular atrophy and hypertrophy of the calves. J Neurol Sci 44:275–279Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cooper WH, Ringel SP, Treihaft MM, Hall KA (1985) Calf enlargement from S-1 radiculopathy. J Neurosurg 62:442–444Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    D'Alessandro R, Montagna P, Govoni E, Pazzaglia P (1982) Benign familial spinal muscular atrophy with hypertrophy of the calves. Arch Neurol 39:657–660Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dubowitz V (1985) Muscle biopsy: a practical approach. Saunders, London, pp 82–128Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dworzak F, Morandi L, Daniel S, Dones I, Blasevich F, Marchi M, Mora M, Rimoldi M, Cornelio F (1987) Needle biopsy for muscle diagnosis and research: an Italian experience. Ital J Neurol Sci 8:337–346Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fetell MR, Smallberg G, Lewis LD, Lovelace RE, Hays AP, Rowland LP (1982) A benign motor neuron disorder: delayed cramps and fasciculation after poliomyelitis or myelitis. Ann Neurol 11:423–427Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gutmann E, Schiaffino S, Hanzlikova V (1971) Mechanism of compensatory hypertrophy in skeletal muscle of the rat. Exp Neurol 31:451–464Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hofmann WW (1980) Mechanisms of muscular hypertrophy. J Neurol Sci 45:205–216Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Korczyn AD, Kuritzky A, Sandbank U (1978) Muscle hypertrophy with neuropathy. J Neurol Sci 36:399–408Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lagueny A, Coquet M, Julien J, Vital C, Ferrer X, Larrieu JL, Aupy M (1987) Hypertrophie musculaire neurogene. Association a des activites electrophysiologiques anormales. Rev Neurol (Paris) 143:189–200Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lance JW, Burke D, Pollard J (1979) Hyperexcitability of motor and sensory neurons in neuromyotonia. Ann Neurol 5:523–532Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lapresle J, Fardeau M, Said G (1973) L'hypertrophie musculaire vraie secondaire a une atteinte nerveuse peripherique. Etude clinique et histologique d'une observation d'hypertrophie du mollet consecutive a une sciatique. Rev Neurol (Paris) 128:153–160Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lhermitte J (1918) Hypertrophie des muscles de la jambe consecutive a une lesion du nerf sciatique par balle. Rev Neurol (Paris) 33:56–58Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    McComas AJ (1977) Neuromuscular function and disorders. Butterworth, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mielke U, Ricker K, Emser W, Boxler K (1982) Unilateral calf enlargement following S1 radiculopathy. Muscle Nerve 5:434–438Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Montagna P, Martinelli P, Rasi F, Cirignotta F, Govoni E, Lugaresi E (1984) Muscular hypertrophy after chronic radiculopathy. Arch Neurol 41:397–398Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pearn J, Hudgson P (1978) Anterior-horn cell degeneration and gross calf hypertrophy with adolescent onset: a new spinal muscular atrophy syndrome. Lancet II:1059–1061Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rall TW, Schleifer LS (1985) Drugs effective in the therapy of the epilepsies. In: Goodman Gilman A, Goodman LS, Rall TW, Murad F (eds) The pharmacological basis of therapeutics. MacMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rasminsky M (1984) Ectopic impulse generation in pathologic nerve fibers. In: Dyck PJ, Thomas PK, Lambert EH, Bunge R (eds) Peripheral neuropathy. Saunders, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sola OM, Christensen DL, Martin AW (1973) Hypertrophy and hyperplasia of adult chicken anterior latissimus dorsi muscles following stretch with and without denervation. Exp Neurol 41:76–100Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Trontelj J, Stalberg E (1983) Bizarre repetitive discharges recorded with single fibre EMG. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 46:310–316Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Valenstein E, Watson RT, Parker JL (1978) Myokymia, muscle hypertrophy and percussion “myotonia” in chronic recurrent polyneuropathy. Neurology 28:1130–1134Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Vasilescu C, Alexianu M, Dan A (1984) Muscle hypertrophy and a syndrome of continuous motor unit activity in prednisone-responsive Guillain-Barré polyneuropathy. J Neurol 231:276–279Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Vasilescu C, Alexianu M, Dan A (1984) Neuronal type of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease with a syndrome of continuous motor unit activity. J Neurol Sci 63:11–25Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Warmolts JR, Mendell JR (1980) Neurotonia: impulse-induced repetitive discharges in motor nerves in peripheral neuropathy. Ann Neurol 7:245–250Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Zisfein J, Sivak M, Aron AM, Bender AN (1983) Isaacs' syndrome with muscle hypertrophy reversed by phenytoin therapy. Arch Neurol 40:241–242Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Pareyson
    • 1
  • L. Morandi
    • 1
  • V. Scaioli
    • 1
  • R. Marazzi
    • 1
  • A. Boiardi
    • 1
  • A. Sghirlanzoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Neurologico “C. Besta”MilanItaly

Personalised recommendations