A double blind cross-over study of eight patients with familial hypokalaemic periodic paralysis was made to assess the influence of acetazolamide on muscle strength. All patients had a reduced interictal muscle fibre conduction velocity. Five patients had no attacks at the time of the study. One patient withdrew from the study because of an adverse reaction. The muscle strength of 11 muscle groups was measured with a hand-held dynamometer. The sum of force improved significantly in the seven patients (mean increase: 17%, p less than 0.05; 95% confidence interval: 7.2-26.8%). Endurance tests showed an improvement in the performance of 30 full kneebends. Surface EMG measurement showed no change in the muscle fibre conduction velocity or power spectra during treatment. The integrated EMG showed a (non significant) mean increase of 21%.
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