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Neuromyotonia: a skin-deep problem
  1. François Maurier1,
  2. Maud Michaud2,
  3. Roxane Reviron1 and
  4. Dan Lipsker3
  1. 1Médecine Interne, Hopitaux Prives de Metz, Metz, France
  2. 2Dermatology, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Nancy, Nancy, France
  3. 3Clinique Dermatologique, Hôpitaux universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr François Maurier; francois.maurier{at}


A 45-year-old woman was evaluated for right-sided hemicorporal scar-like skin lesions on her arm and thoracic and inguinal areas that appeared shortly after reduction mammoplasty. Five years later, she developed spontaneous cramps and involuntary abnormal, painful, twitching movements in the same areas. With time, the cramps worsened and disabled the patient. The use of her right arm triggered contractures of muscles and abnormal movements. A diagnosis of neuromyotonia (NMT) was established on the basis of clinical findings and on electromyographic findings of a burst of high-frequency motor unit potentials recorded in the right triceps in the area of skin lesions. The results of medullary, encephalic MRI as well as a comprehensive metabolic panel were normal. She was positive for antinuclear antibodies without specificity. Neither antineural antibodies nor antivoltage-gated potassium channel complex antibodies (specifically, leucine-rich glioma inactivated protein 1 and contactin-associated protein-like-2) were detected. Her skin lesions were diagnosed as morphea. Two combined strategies of treatment were initiated: antiepileptic drugs for NMT and corticosteroids and methotrexate for morphea. NMT is a rare, debilitating neurological complication of morphea.

  • dermatology
  • motor neurone disease
  • peripheral nerve disease

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  • Contributors FM, RR, DL and MM wrote the paper together. MM, a neurologist, made the diagnosis of neuromyotonia and registered this on electromyogram. DL, a dermatogist expert, confirmed diagnosis and took photos. FM and RR, both internists, evocated diagnosis, and took photos and videos. FM worked on the template and submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.