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Modified exercise test in screening for mitochondrial myopathies--adjustment of workload in relation to muscle strength.

Journal article
Authors Elisabet Hammarén
Margareta Kreuter
Lena Rafsten
Christopher Lindberg
Published in European neurology
Volume 51
Issue 1
Pages 38-41
ISSN 0014-3022
Publication year 2003
Published at Institute of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy
Institute of Medical Biochemistry
Institute of Clinical Neurosciences
Pages 38-41
Language en
Keywords Adult, Aged, Case-Control Studies, Exercise Test, methods, Exercise Tolerance, Female, Humans, Lactic Acid, blood, Male, Mass Screening, methods, Middle Aged, Mitochondrial Myopathies, blood, diagnosis, Muscle, Skeletal, physiopathology, Neuromuscular Diseases, diagnosis, Sensitivity and Specificity
Subject categories Physiotherapy


The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of a modification of the bicycle ergometer test, the subanaerobic threshold exercise test (SATET), as a screening test for patients with mitochondrial myopathies. Since the original SATET is frequently found to be strenuous for weak patients, a new variable (relative muscle strength) was added to the workload formula. Plasma lactate levels were recorded at rest, then after 5 and 15 min of cycling on an ergometer, with constant workload. Nine patients with mitochondrial myopathy, 10 patients with other neuromuscular diseases and 9 healthy but sedentary volunteers undertook the test. An upper reference limit after exercise for plasma lactate was settled at 2.9 mmol/l. The modified SATET showed a sensitivity of 78% and a specificity compared to the healthy subjects of 100%. Compared to patients with other neuromuscular diseases, the specificity was lower (60%). All subjects completed the test without severe fatigue or pain.

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