Postoperative malnutrition in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Susan T. Iannaccone, Hollis Owens, Janice Scott, Betsy Teitell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Dysphagia and aspiration seem to be rare in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but cachexia can be associated with early death. Commonly, weight loss can be attributed to inadequate caloric intake caused by loss of ability to self-feed and/or fatigue. Our objective was to determine whether scoliosis repair is associated with malnutrition. A retrospective chart review was undertaken of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, including those who underwent operative repair of scoliosis. We identified nine boys who lost > 5% body weight within 12 months of surgery. Eight patients who gained weight after surgery and eight patients of comparable age who had no surgery served as control subjects. All patients had no change in biceps strength after surgery, but those who lost weight were unable to self-feed. We found that weight loss after surgery was associated with loss of self-feeding. We conclude that pre- and postoperative management of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy should include feeding evaluation and determination of postural changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-20
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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