2008 Volume 47 Issue 19 Pages 1743-1746
A 58-year-old woman presented with muscle weakness, whole body myalgia, and dyspnea. On admission, neurological examination showed proximal muscle weakness in the extremities. The weakness gradually extended to the bulbar and respiratory muscles, necessitating an artificial ventilator. Serum CK level was markedly increased (33,774 IU/L; normal <150 IU/L) and myoglobinuria was noted in urinalysis. There was no sign of renal failure. Nerve conduction study was normal, but needle EMG showed myopathic changes in the weak muscles. Serological studies for virus titers showed more than a four-fold increase of cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibody titer during the disease course. The IgM anti-GM2 antibody was also elevated in the acute phase and decreased in the recovery phase. The muscle weakness and respiratory failure gradually improved after intravenous methylprednisolone administration, and the serum CK level was normalized in several days. CMV infection was thought to have played a central role in the rhabdomyolysis, leading to critical but reversible respiratory muscle paralysis.