Muscle Cramps in Cirrhotic Patients: A Cross-sectional Study

Arash Bahremand, Shahin Merat, Rasoul Stoudemanesh, Shahreyar Nafisi, Gilda Barzin


Background :Muscle cramps are painful manifestations that occur in many cirrhotic patients. This study aims to evaluate the risk factors for developing muscle cramps.Materials and Methods:This cross-sectional study evaluated 24 cirrhotic patients (18 male, 6 female) during 15 months. Patients underwent careful examinations administered by the same person to determine the underlying cause of disease, presence of ascites, jaundice and encephalopathy as possible causes for muscle cramps. A specific questionnaire that contained demographic information, frequency, location, duration and time of muscle cramps was completed for each patient.Results:Patients' mean ages were 45.1 years for females and 48.3 years for males. The frequency of muscles cramps was 37.5% (6 males, 3 females). The most frequent time for the occurrence of cramps was at night and when patients were at rest (88%). The calf muscle (77%) was the most involved muscle group that experienced cramping. Patients with muscle cramps had lower serum albumin level (p<0.01) and higher PT (p<0.05) compared to those who did not experience cramps.Conclusion:Lower serum albumin level as well as increased PT was associated with muscle cramps in cirrhotic patients. However further studies are mandatory to confirm the findings of this study.


Muscle cramp; Liver cirrhosis; Effective factors

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