Glucocorticoids more helpful for breathing than for the heart past loss of walking ability in DMD

American clinicians have been trying to find out if long-term corticosteroid therapy in DMD could be of any use in the non-ambulatory stage of the disease. Using data from 398 patients with DMD recruited through the MD STARnet network, they observed that:

  • deterioration in left ventricular function was unaffected;
  • respiratory function seemed to improve, with the reduction in forced vital capacity occurring later, for corticosteroid therapy lasting more than one year.

This study could lead clinicians to review their practices.


Evaluation of effects of continued corticosteroid treatment on cardiac and pulmonary function in non-ambulatory males with Duchenne muscular dystrophy from MD STARnet. Butterfield RJ, Kirkov S, Conway KM, et al. Muscle Nerve. 2022 Jan 7.