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J Child Neurol. 2011 Dec;26(12):1499-507. doi: 10.1177/0883073811420294. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Validation of the Expanded Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale in spinal muscular atrophy type II and III.

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Department of Physical Therapy, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


The relationships between the Expanded Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale (HFMSE) and genotype and motor and respiratory outcomes were examined in patients with spinal muscular atrophy types II and III (n = 70). The correlation between the HFMSE and Gross Motor Function Measure was r = 0.98. Correlations between HFMSE and forced vital capacity (percentage of predicted normal) (n = 56) and a functional rating (n = 57) were r = 0.87 and r = 0.92, respectively. Correlations with strength were as follows: knee extension, r = 0.74 (n = 60); elbow flexion, r = 0.77 (n = 61); and knee flexion, r = 0.74 (n = 58). The HFMSE differentiated patients by SMN2 copy number (P = .0007); bi-level positive airway pressure use, <8 versus ≥8 hours/day (P < .0001); ambulatory status (P < .0001); and spinal muscular atrophy type (P < .0001). The HFMSE demonstrates significant associations with established measures of function, strength, and genotype, and discriminates patients based on function, diagnostic category, and bi-level positive airway pressure need. Time of administration averaged 12 minutes. The HFMSE is a valid, time-efficient outcome measure for clinical trials in spinal muscular atrophy types II and III.

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