The presence of myotonia and paramyotonia on clinical examination and of myotonic discharges during electrodiagnostic (EDX) studies are important for the diagnosis of certain neuromuscular conditions. The increased muscle activity of myotonia produces muscle stiffness that improves with repeated activity. Paramyotonia produces a similar symptom, but the stiffness paradoxically increases with activity. Myotonic discharges are easily recognized on EDX testing because of the waxing and waning discharges. Myotonic dystrophy and myotonia congenita share both clinical and electrodiagnostic myotonia. Paramyotonia congenita and hyperkalemia periodic paralysis are associated with clinical paramyotonia and electrical myotonia. Acid maltase deficiency often produces myotonic potentials without clinical evidence of myotonia or paramyotonia. The differential diagnosis of these myotonic disorders is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-299
Number of pages7
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • Myotonia
  • Myotonia congenita
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Paramyotonia
  • Periodic paralysis
  • Schwartz-Jampel syndrome


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