Levine H, Prais D, Aharoni S, Nevo Y, Katz J, Rahmani E, Goldberg L, Scheuerman O. COVID-19 in advanced Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy patients. Neuromuscul Disord. 2021 Jul;31(7):607-611. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2021.03.011. Epub 2021 Apr 6. PMID: 34053847; PMCID: PMC8021445.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common childhood muscular dystrophy. As a result of progressive muscle weakness, pulmonary function decreases during the second decade of life and lung disease contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality in these patients. Corticosteroids are the current standard of care for patients with DMD, despite known adverse effects such as obesity and immunosuppression. Over the past year (2020), the novel coronavirus (COVID-19/SARS-CoV2) outbreak has caused a global pandemic. Restrictive lung disease due to low lung volumes, chronic immunosuppressive treatment with corticosteroids, and obesity are potential risk factors that may contribute to a more severe course of the disease. Out of 116 Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy patients treated in our tertiary neuromuscular center, six patients with DMD and one with advanced Becker muscular dystrophy were found to be positive for COVID-19 infection. Two of the DMD patients were admitted for hospitalization, of whom one was dependent on daily nocturnal non-invasive ventilation. All patients recovered without complications despite obesity, steroid treatment and severe restrictive lung disease.
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