Carnitine is a carrier for the transport of long-chain fatty acids from the cytoplasmic to the mitochondrial space. So far 18 cases of carnitine deficiency myopathy have been recognized, generally occurring as progressive or relapsing myopathy. In contrast episodic exercise-induced myalgia and paresis was found in a 46-year-old patient with carnitine deficiency myopathy which was quickly reversible at rest. As a consequence of this observation carnitine deficiency myopathy must be added to the differential diagnosis of the McArdle syndrome (muscular phosphorylase deficiency) and other 'exercise myopathies'.
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