What is the role of muscle cooling in the workup of periodic paralyses (PP)?

Updated: Apr 30, 2018
  • Author: Naganand Sripathi, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

Cooling of muscle to 20°C leads to force reduction and prolonged twitch-relaxation in PC and hyperkalemic periodic paralyses. Muscle paralysis is prolonged and persistent even after rewarming.

As the muscle depolarizes at different temperatures in different patients, a muscle temperature of 20-25°C is preferable. This is best achieved by immersing the whole arm in ice water. This alone causes weakness in many patients.

Short periods of exercise (2-3 1-second short exercises) enhance the weakness and result in a very small CMAP. [14]


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