Introduction: Therapeutic trials in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) often exclude non-ambulatory individuals. Here we establish optimal and reliable assessments in a multicenter trial. Methods: Non-ambulatory boys/men with DMD (N=91; 16.7±4.5 years of age) were assessed by trained clinical evaluators. Feasibility (percentage completing task) and reliability [intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) between morning and afternoon tests] were measured. Results: Forced vital capacity (FVC), assessed in all subjects, showed a mean of 47.8±22% predicted (ICC 0.98). Brooke Upper Extremity Functional Rating (Brooke) and Egen Klassifikation (EK) scales in 100% of subjects showed ICCs ranging from 0.93 to 0.99. Manual muscle testing, range of motion, 9-hole peg test, and Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test (JHFT) demonstrated varied feasibility (99% to 70%), with ICCs ranging from 0.99 to 0.64. We found beneficial effects of different forms of corticosteroids for the Brooke scale, percent predicted FVC, and hand and finger strength. Conclusions: Reliable assessment of non-ambulatory boys/men with DMD is possible. Clinical trials will have to consider corticosteroid use.
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- Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Pulmonary function
- Quality of life