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J Child Neurol. 2006 Apr;21(4):316-20.

Selenoprotein N muscular dystrophy: differential diagnosis for early-onset limited mobility of the spine.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Neurology, Children's Hospital Technical University Dresden, Germany.


Early spinal rigidity is a nonspecific feature reported in diseases such as neuromuscular and central movement disorders. We present a male patient with rigid spine muscular dystrophy caused by newly identified compound heterozygote mutations of the selenoprotein N gene and discuss this disease as a possible differential diagnosis for early-onset reduced spine mobility. Rigid spine muscular dystrophy is a rare myopathy presenting in childhood with a typical combination of stable or slowly progressive mild to moderate muscle weakness, limitation in flexion of the spine, and progressive restrictive ventilatory disorder. The clinical features of our patient include early-onset rigidity of his spine, scoliosis, mild muscular weakness predominantly of neck and trunk flexors, and restrictive ventilatory disorder. Biopsy of the biceps muscle revealed nonspecific myopathic changes, and molecular analysis confirmed the diagnosis of rigid spine muscular dystrophy. Thus, neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy must be considered in all patients presenting with early spinal rigidity, and genetic determination is a possible way to determine the diagnosis.

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