Experimental Alcoholism Induces Phosphorus and Magnesium Deficiency in Skeletal Muscle

  • Evan R. Ferguson
  • Jon D. Blachley
  • James P. Knochel
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 151)


Structural, electrochemical and biochemical derangements of skeletal muscle are exceptionally common findings in patients with severe, chronic alcoholism. Collectively, these abnormalities represent alcoholic myopathy. Studies conducted in our laboratories during the past eight years on patients and experimental animals suggest that skeletal muscle is consistently damaged by chronic exposure to ethanol1–4. In brief, prominent findings include a substantial depression of muscle cell phosphorus and magnesium content, while calcium is markedly elevated. As occurs in any injured cell, contents of sodium and chloride are elevated, while potassium tends to be reduced. These changes in muscle cell composition may occur either with or without elevated serum levels of creatine Phosphokinase (CPK) activity.


Skeletal Muscle Ethanol Intake Sodium Transport Chronic Alcoholism Ethanol Administration 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evan R. Ferguson
    • 1
  • Jon D. Blachley
    • 1
  • James P. Knochel
    • 1
  1. 1.VAMC and Southwestern Medical SchoolDallasUSA

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