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Fourteen patients with Wilson's disease, 10 of their parents and siblings, and 12 control subjects had muscle copper, zinc, and manganese concentrations determined by the use of neutron-activation analysis. Zinc and manganese concentrations did not differ significantly in the 3 groups. Although patients with Wilson's disease had a significant (p < 0.05) increase in mean muscle copper concentration when compared with that of control subjects, there was too much overlap for this to be a useful diagnostic test. Ten of the 14 patients with Wilson's disease were estimated to have an increased amount of copper in their muscle tissues, averaging 4.5 mg. This amount of copper is small when compared with the excess copper in the liver and central nervous system of patients with Wilson's disease and suggests that the muscle is only a secondary site for deposition of copper.
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Accepted: June 26, 1970
Received: February 16, 1970
☆This work was supported by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Work Units MR005.09-0040A and T.002.
☆☆The opinions or assertions contained herein are those of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting views of the Navy Department or the Naval Service at large.
© 1970 Published by Elsevier Inc.