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Eur Spine J. 1995;4(5):263-7.

Lung function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Manchester, UK.


Over 90% of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy develop a scoliosis when they become wheelchair bound. The scoliosis is progressive and is associated with deteriorating lung function. The purpose of this study was firstly to assess whether a standing regimen, in patients who had gone off their feet, protected against the development of scoliosis and affected their lung function, and secondly to evaluate the effect of spinal stabilisation in patients who had developed a progressive scoliosis. The results of the first part of this study showed that a standing regimen significantly delayed the progression of scoliosis and that patients who complied with the standing regimen had a significantly better lung function, as measured by vital capacity and peak expiratory flow rate, than those patients who did not stand. Spinal stabilisation prevented deterioration in the scoliosis, whereas the deformity continued to progress relentlessly in patients who did not undergo surgery. The patients who underwent spinal stabilisation maintained a significantly better lung function and had an improved survival compared with the patients who refused surgery.

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