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ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 281018, 14 pages
Review Article

The Story of Equine Atypical Myopathy: A Review from the Beginning to a Possible End

Equine Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, Boulevard de Colonster 20 B41, 4000 Liege, Belgium

Received 16 August 2012; Accepted 25 September 2012

Academic Editors: Z. Grabarevic and K. E. Panter

Copyright © 2012 Dominique-Marie Votion. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atypical myopathy (AM) is a frequently fatal seasonal pasture myopathy that emerges in Europe. Outbreaks are of an acute and unexpected nature and practitioners should be prepared to handle these critically ill patients. This review retraces the history of AM and describes results of epidemiological investigations that were conducted to raise hypotheses concerning the etiology of this devastating disease as well as to be able to suggest potential preventive measures. Also, clinical studies have contributed to a better definition and recognition of the syndrome, whereas elucidation of the pathological process, identified as a multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD), was a great step forward improving medical management of AM and guiding the search for the etiological agent towards toxins that reproduce the identified defect. Treatment plans can be extrapolated from the described clinical signs and metabolic problems, but they remain limited to supportive care until the causative agent has been identified with certainty. Since treatment is still unsuccessful in the majority of cases, the main emphasis is currently still on prevention. This paper aims at being a practical support for equine clinicians dealing with AM and is based on discussion and comparison of the currently available scientific data.