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Neurology. 1991 Jan;41(1):38-40.

The effect of spine fusion on respiratory function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital of San Francisco, CA 94119.


Serial measures of respiratory function were made in 17 patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who underwent segmental spine fusion and in 22 patients who did not. No significant differences were observed between the 2 groups (operated vs. nonoperated) in terms of declining respiratory function. Nonetheless, all operated patients reported either improved sitting comfort, appearance, or both. Thus, our results suggest that there are distinct benefits from segmental spine fusion; however, there was no salutary effect upon respiratory function either in the short term or after up to 5 years follow-up.

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