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Duchenne muscular dystrophy, dilated cardiomyopathy, genetic modifiers, LTBP4, glucocorticoid treatment


Background: Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a major complication of, and leading cause of mortality in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Its severity, age at onset, and rate of progression display wide variability, whose molecular bases have been scarcely elucidated. Potential DCM-modifying factors include glucocorticoid (GC) and cardiological treatments, DMD mutation type and location, and variants in other genes.

Methods and Results: We retrospectively collected 3138 echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular ejection fraction (EF), shortening fraction (SF), and end-diastolic volume (EDV) from 819 DMD participants, 541 from an Italian multicentric cohort and 278 from the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Group Duchenne Natural History Study (CINRG-DNHS). Using generalized estimating equation (GEE) models, we estimated the yearly rate of decrease of EF (–0.80%) and SF (–0.41%), while EDV increase was not significantly associated with age. Utilizing a multivariate generalized estimating equation (GEE) model we observed that mutations preserving the expression of the C-terminal Dp71 isoform of dystrophin were correlated with decreased EDV (–11.01 mL/m2 , p = 0.03) while for dp116 were correlated with decreased EF (–4.14%, p =

Conclusions: We quantitatively describe the progression of systolic dysfunction progression in DMD, confirm the effect of distal dystrophin isoform expression on the dystrophin-deficient heart, and identify a strong effect of LTBP4 genotype of DCM in DMD.

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ISSN 2214-3599 © 2024 – The authors. Published by IOS Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0). This article is originally published in the Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases 11 (2024) 285–298.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License