Therapy insight: cardiovascular complications associated with muscular dystrophies

Nat Clin Pract Cardiovasc Med. 2005 Jun;2(6):301-8. doi: 10.1038/ncpcardio0213.


The muscular dystrophies are commonly associated with cardiovascular complications, including cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmias. These complications are caused by intrinsic defects in cardiomyocyte and cardiac conduction system function, and by the presence of severe skeletal muscle disease, which also contributes to cardiac dysfunction. Unlike the skeletal muscle degenerative process, for which treatment options are currently limited, therapy is available for the cardiovascular complications that accompany muscular dystrophy. New therapies for skeletal muscle degeneration are moving into clinical trials and, ultimately, into clinical practice. These therapies are expected to also improve the cardiac function, longevity and wellbeing of muscular dystrophy patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Dystrophin / genetics
  • Humans
  • Muscular Dystrophies / complications*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sarcoglycans / genetics


  • DMD protein, human
  • Dystrophin
  • SGCB protein, human
  • Sarcoglycans