Proton NMR spectroscopic investigations on the lipid extract of the serum of 41 Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) (age, mean +/- SD; 8.0 +/- 3.0 years) patients and 22 healthy subjects (age, mean +/- SD; 9.0 +/- 4.0 years) were performed in the northern Indian population. The concentration of triglycerides, phospholipids, free cholesterol, cholesterol esters and total cholesterol was significantly higher in DMD patients as compared to healthy subjects. Ratio of free-cholesterol to cholesterol-esters was also significantly higher in DMD patients. Among the individual lipids, concentration of phospholipids was found to be consistently higher in DMD patients compared to healthy subjects, with a discriminatory index of 87.5%. The highest discriminatory index of 92% was found along with the ratio of PL (phospholipids) to CHOL (cholesterol), i.e. PL/CHOL. No significant quantitative difference was observed in the serum lipid constituents of positive and negative gene deletion cases of DMD. The inferences drawn from this study may provide the possibility of the diagnostic importance for DMD, especially in cases where genetic analysis fails to provide the diagnosis.