Diabetic myonecrosis

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Diabetes mellitus
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus type 1
Diabetes mellitus type 2
Gestational diabetes

Impaired fasting glycaemia
Impaired glucose tolerance

Disease Management
Diabetes management:
Diabetic diet
Anti-diabetic drugs
Conventional insulinotherapy
Intensive insulinotherapy
Other Concerns
Cardiovascular disease

Diabetic comas:
Diabetic hypoglycemia
Diabetic ketoacidosis
Nonketotic hyperosmolar

Diabetic myonecrosis
Diabetic nephropathy
Diabetic neuropathy
Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetes and pregnancy

Blood tests
Blood sugar
Glucose tolerance test
Glycosylated hemoglobin

Diabetic myonecrosis is a rare complication of diabetes. It is caused by infarcted muscle tissue, usually in the thigh.


The mean age at presentation is thirty-seven years with a reported range of nineteen to sixty-four years. The mean age of onset since diagnosis of diabetes is fifteen years. The female:male ratio is 1.3:1. Other diabetic complications such as nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy and hypertension are usually present. Its major symptom is the acute onset muscle pain, usually in the thigh, in the absence of trauma. Signs include exquisite muscle tenderness and swelling.

Investigations and diagnosis

Tissue biopsy is the gold standard. Macroscopically this reveals pale muscle tissue. Microscopically infarcted patches of myocytes. Necrotic muscle fibers are swollen and eosinophilic and lack striations and nuclei. Small-vessel walls are thickened and hyalinized, with luminal narrowing or complete occlusion. Biopsy cultures for bacteria, fungi, acid-fast bacilli and stains are negative in simple myonecrosis.

Creatine kinase is found to be normal. ESR is elevated. Planar X-ray reveals soft tissue swelling and bone scan shows non specific uptake. CT shows muscle oedema with preserved tissue planes (non-contrast enhancing). MRI shows increased signal on T2 weighted images within areas of muscle oedema. Arteriography reveals large and medium vessel arteriosclerosis occasionally with dye within the area of tissue infarction . Electromyography shows non specific focal changes.


Treatment includes supportive care with analgesics and anti-inflammatory agents. Exercise should be limited as it increases pain and extends the area of infarction. Symptoms usually resolve in weeks to months, but fifty percent of sufferers will experience relapse in either leg. The majority diagnosed with diabetic myonecrosis die within 5 years.[citation needed]


The pathogenesis of this disease is unclear. Arteriosclerosis obliterans has been postulated as the cause, along with errors of the clotting and fibrinolytic pathways such as antiphospholipid syndrome.[1]

Differential Diagnosis

A large number of conditions may cause symptoms and signs similar to diabetic myonecrosis and include: deep vein thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, cellulitis, fasciitis, abscess, haematoma, myositis, pseudothrombophlebitis (ruptured synovial cyst), pyomyositis, parasitic myositis, osteomyelitis, calcific myonecrosis, myositis ossificans, diabetic myotrophy, muscle strain or rupture, bursitis, vasculitis, arterial occlusion, haemangioma, lymphoedema, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, cat-scratch disease, amyloidosis, as well as tumours of lipoma, chondroma, fibroma, leiomyoma and sarcoma.


  • Wintz R, Pimstone K, Nelson S (2006). "Detection of diabetic myonecrosis. Complication is often-missed sign of underlying disease". Postgrad Med. 119 (3): 66–9. PMID 17128647. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) - Case report
  • Mousa A, Hussein S, Daggett P & Coates P (2005). "Spontaneous non-traumatic muscle pain in diabetes". Endocrine Abstracts. 10: DP12. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) - Poster Presentation, 196th Meeting of the Society for Endocrinology, London, UK
  • Subbiah V, Raina R, Kaelber D, Chung-Park M, Halle D, Mansour D & Perzy H (2004). "Diabetic Myonecrosis (Rare And Ominous Complication Of A Common Disease)" (PDF). American Medical Association Research Symposium. - Poster presentation


  1. Reyes-Balaguer J, Solaz-Moreno E, Morata-Aldea C, Elorza-Montesinos P (2005). "Spontaneous diabetic myonecrosis". Diabetes Care. 28 (4): 980–1. PMID 15793211. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)