Benign X-linked myopathy with acanthocytes (McLeod syndrome). Its relationship to X-linked muscular dystrophy

M Swash, M S Schwartz, N D Carter, R Heath, M Leak, K L Rogers
Brain 1983, 106: 717-33
Two healthy men with McLeod syndrome, a rare X-linked recessive phenotype characterized by acanthocytosis and weakened red blood cell antigenicity in the Kell blood group system, have been investigated. Both men showed raised blood creatine kinase levels, with myopathic EMG abnormalities. Biopsies of the quadriceps muscle showed the features of an active myopathy although there was no clinical evidence of muscular abnormality. The combination of the association of membrane abnormalities in red blood cells and a myopathy in both McLeod phenotype and Duchenne muscular dystrophy suggests that these syndromes may be due to related genetic abnormalities. The genetic locus for McLeod phenotype is situated near the end of the short arm of the X chromosome. The locus for Duchenne muscular dystrophy is unknown but it has been postulated that it is also situated on the short arm of the X chromosome at Xp 21. The occurrence of a subclinical X-linked myopathy with acanthocytosis (McLeod phenotype) thus raises the possibility of a new approach to genetic investigations in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and in the related milder forms of this disease.

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