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ABSTRACT: This cross sectional descriptive study was done to find out common clinical presentations, etiologies and laboratory investigation abnormalities in patients of periodic paralysis. Study was carried out in 30 patients with an age range from 8 to 70 years who were enrolled from July 2008 to June 2009 in Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) medicine unit. Individuals who were admitted with sudden onset generalized muscle weakness, had history of previous attack and serum potassium level <3mmol/l or >5.5mmol/l were included in this study. In this series, majority of the patients were male (66.67%). Male: female ratio was approximately 2:1. The mean age of the patients was 27.4±4.5 years. Majority (26.67%) of them were in age range of 31-40 years. About 30% of the patients experienced the first attack of paralysis at the age of 20-24 years. Majority of patients (53%) were from middle class family with occupation of private service (26.66%) and farmer (20%). Positive family history was reported in 20% of patients. Regarding the precipitating factors, majority of patients (83.3%) were related to high carbohydrate meal, 56.67% related to temperature, 41.67% to exercise. Flaccid muscle weakness with variables muscle power (MRC grade 4/5 to 2/5 in 60% and 1/5 to 0/5 in 40%) was found. Cerebellar functions, all modalities of sensations and functions of cranial nerves were intact in all patients. In this series, laboratory investigations revealed reduced serum potassium level (<3mmol/l) in 90% of patients. Serum potassium value >5.5mmol/l was found in only 3.33% of patients. Creatine kinase (MM) was raised in 23% of the patients and Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level was 0.8-2mmol/l in 6% of the patients. More than half of the patients (56%) showed variable ECG changes. Impaired nerve conduction function was found in 28.00%. So, careful history taking, meticulous clinical examination and simple laboratory investigations is sufficient to make a prompt diagnosis and rapid management of patients with periodic paralysis.
Mymensingh Medical Journal 01/2012; 21(1):28-33.