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Correlation between motor performance scales, body composition, and anthropometry in patients with duchenne muscular dystrophy


The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between body composition, anthropometry, and motor scales in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Twenty six patients with DMD were evaluated by Expanded Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale (HFMSE), gross motor function classification system (GMFCS), multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis, and anthropometric measurements. Seventeen healthy children served as control group. There were 26 patients with a mean age of 9.5 ± 4.8 years. Ages and anthropometric measurements did not differ between groups. Of the 26 patients, nine were level I, seven were level II, two were level III, seven were level IV, and one was level V, according to the GMFCS. Despite the similar percentage of total body water, extracellular water/intracellular water ratio was significantly elevated in DMD patients (p = 0.001). Increased values of fat percentage and body fat mass index (BFMI) correlated positively with elevated GMFCS levels (r = 0.785 and 0.719 respectively). Increased fat-free mass index (FFMI) correlated negatively with elevated GMFCS levels (r = −0.401). Increased fat percentage and BFMI correlated negatively with HFMSE scores (r = −0.779 and −0.698, respectively). Increased values of FFMI correlated positively with HFMSE scores. There was also a negative correlation between increased skin fold measurements from triceps and scapula and HFMSE scores (r = −0.618 and −0.683, respectively). Increased skin fold values from the same regions correlated positively with elevated GMFCS levels (r = 0.643 and 0.712, respectively). Significant body composition changes occur in patients with DMD. Anthropometric and multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analyses measurements show good correlation between motor function scales. These results may also be helpful to evaluate the effects of new treatment strategies.

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Correspondence to Erhan Bayram.

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Bayram, E., Topcu, Y., Karakaya, P. et al. Correlation between motor performance scales, body composition, and anthropometry in patients with duchenne muscular dystrophy. Acta Neurol Belg 113, 133–137 (2013).

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  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Motor function
  • Body composition
  • Skinfold thickness
  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis