JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Frequency and severity of musculoskeletal symptoms in humans during an outbreak of trichinellosis caused by Trichinella britovi.

Musculoskeletal symptoms such as myalgia are well-known features in the course of trichinellosis; however, the characteristics of musculoskeletal findings have been described in detail in only 1 study. The present study was aimed to determine the joint and muscle symptoms in subjects diagnosed with acute trichinellosis at our rheumatology unit during a Trichinella britovi outbreak that occurred in Izmir, Turkey, in 2004. In total, 98 patients (55 females, 43 males; mean age 32.3 +/- 10.9 yr) were included in the study. A detailed history and full musculoskeletal examination were obtained in each patient. A self-administered questionnaire developed for recording the musculoskeletal symptoms was completed monthly until all the symptoms were resolved. Pain at the joints, restriction of movements (in shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, and temporomandibular joints), myalgia, and muscle weakness (neck and shoulder girdle, muscles of the upper and forearm, back, thigh, and calf muscles) were assessed in every patient. Eosinophil counts, serum levels of creatine kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase also were analyzed. The most frequent musculoskeletal symptoms were muscle pain (86 cases [87.8%]), joint pain (83 [84.7%]), subjective muscle weakness (75 [76.5%]), and restriction of joint movements (63 [64.3%]). Calves, upper arm, neck and shoulder girdle, and forearms were the most affected muscle groups. Muscle pain was reported more frequently in the upper than in the lower extremities and during activity. The most frequent painful joints were shoulders, knees, wrists, and ankles. Upper extremity joints were affected more frequently than the lower extremity joints (77.6 vs. 70.4%). Joint pain occurred more frequently at rest. Both muscle weakness and restriction of joint movements were reported in and around the most frequently affected regions. No evidence of arthritis and objective muscle weakness was noted on physical examination in any patient. Musculoskeletal symptoms in the course of T. britovi infection are frequent but with an excellent prognosis. Joint pain in people suffering from acute trichinellosis may occur more frequently than reported previously.

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