Telbivudine, a thymidine nucleoside analog, is a common therapeutic option for chronic hepatitis B infection. While raised serum creatine kinase is common, myopathy associated with telbivudine is rare. Reports on its myopathological features are few and immunohistochemical analyses of inflammatory cell infiltrates have not been previously described. We describe the clinical, myopathological and immunohistochemical features of four patients who developed myopathy after telbivudine therapy for chronic hepatitis B infection. All four patients presented with progressive proximal muscle weakness, elevation of serum creatine kinase and myopathic changes on electromyography. Muscle biopsies showed myofiber degeneration/necrosis, regeneration, and fibers with cytoplasmic bodies and cytochrome c oxidase deficiency. There was minimal inflammation associated with strong sarcolemmal overexpression of class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC class I). Upon withdrawal of telbivudine, muscle weakness improved in all patients and eventually completely resolved in three. In our series, telbivudine-associated myopathy is characterized by necrotizing myopathy which improved on drug withdrawal. Although the occasional loss of cytochrome c oxidase is consistent with mitochondrial toxicity, the overexpression of MHC class I in all patients could suggest an underlying immune-mediated mechanism which may warrant further investigation.
We report two patients with myopathic dropped head syndrome, a rare and interesting neuromuscular syndrome characterised by a predominant weakness of the neck extensor muscles. The first patient, a middle aged Chinese man, presented with progressive weakness of neck extension but his clinical course later stabilised despite a lack of response to corticosteroids. Muscle biopsy revealed a necrotising myopathy with no evidence of inflammation. This patient supports the existence of an idiopathic restricted non-inflammatory myopathy, a so called isolated neck extensor myopathy syndrome which is recognised to pursue a less progressive, more benign course. Our second patient had histopathological evidence for polymyositis; there was a favourable response to steroids. Our cases underscore the fact that there may be a spectrum of pathological processes associated with the myopathic dropped head syndrome ranging from non-inflammatory muscle necrosis to a full blown inflammatory myositis.
Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX), a rare inherited lipid storage disease is due to a defect in bile acid metabolism. Involvement of five members of a family is presented. The clinical features, laboratory and pathologic findings are discussed. Tendinous and tuberous xanthomatosis, bilateral cataracts, cerebral impairment and raised serum cholestanol are the salient features. We believe this is the first report of CTX in Malaysia.