Electrodiagnosis of human colchicine myoneuropathy

Ralph W. Kuncl, David R. Cornblath, Orlando Avila, Greg Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Colchicine may produce a neuromuscular disorder even when given in customary doses. We report the electrodiagnostic features in eight pathologically proven cases of colchicine‐induced myoneuropathy. Myopathic motor unit potentials and early recruitment were found in proximal limb and truncal muscles, frequently with fibrillations, positive sharp waves, or complex repetitive discharges. These electromyographic findings correlated with the course of the weakness, which rapidly resolved within weeks of drug discontinuation, indicating that the major functional disturbance in the patients was myopathy. The accompanying signs of axonal neuropathy persisted longer, with little functional consequence. Although often misrecognized as polymyositis, colchicine myoneuropathy was identifiable by the rapid clinical and electrophysiologic improvement following drug withdrawal as well as by its distinctive morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-364
Number of pages5
JournalMuscle & nerve
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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