Symptoms of upper gastrointestinal dysfunction in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: case-control study

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1990 Sep;71(10):742-4.


A case-control study was undertaken to see if symptoms of upper gastrointestinal (UGI) (oropharyngeal, esophageal, and gastric) dysfunction occurred more frequently in males afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) than healthy controls. Subjects included 55 children with confirmed DMD and 55 age-matched controls without neuromuscular disease. All subjects and/or their parents responded to a standard set of questions concerning the frequency of symptoms of UGI dysfunction. Responses of the DMD and control groups were compared using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. A significantly higher percentage of DMD patients experienced nasal quality to the voice, dysphagia, choking while eating, the need to clear the throat during or after eating, heartburn, and vomiting during or after meals, than did controls. Only one symptom--heartburn--was found significantly more frequently in the 33 nonambulatory than the 22 ambulatory DMD subjects. These findings document that feeding difficulty and symptoms consistent with oropharyngeal, esophageal, and gastric dysfunction are more frequent in the DMD population than healthy, age-matched controls.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Digestive System Diseases / etiology*
  • Digestive System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Intestines / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophies / complications
  • Muscular Dystrophies / physiopathology*
  • Pharynx / pathology
  • Pharynx / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stomach / pathology
  • Stomach / physiopathology