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Guides & Guidelines

Obesity and endocrine management of the patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

key information

source: Pediatrics

year: 2018

authors: Weber DR, Hadjiyannakis S, McMillan HJ, Noritz G, Ward LM


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is associated with an increased risk of endocrine complications due to the effects of prolonged glucocorticoid therapy as well as progressive muscle weakness. Categories of complications include obesity and its comorbidities, short stature, pubertal delay, and adrenal insufficiency. Obesity prevention is important for long-term management of patients with DMD. Preventing glucocorticoid-induced weight gain fosters patient mobility, ease of transfer, and reduces sleep-disordered breathing. Metabolic complications from obesity (glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia) also can be avoided.

Short stature and pubertal delay may negatively affect self-esteem and peer relationships, and careful monitoring of growth and pubertal development can allow anticipatory counseling. Adrenal insufficiency, a potentially life-threatening complication associated with prolonged glucocorticoid use, must be recognized so as to allow prompt treatment. In this article, we provide a summary of current guidance to ensure comprehensive endocrine management is followed in patients with DMD.

organization: Golisano Children's Hospital, USA; Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada; Nationwide Children's Hospital, USA

DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-0333F

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