Design, set-up and utility of the UK facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy patient registry

J Neurol. 2016 Jul;263(7):1401-8. doi: 10.1007/s00415-016-8132-1. Epub 2016 May 9.


Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is a rare inherited neuromuscular disease estimated to affect 1/15,000 people. Through basic research, remarkable progress has been made towards the development of targeted therapies. Patient identification, through registries or other means is essential for trial-readiness. The UK FSHD Patient Registry is a patient initiated registry that collects standardised and internationally agreed dataset of self-reported clinical details combined with professionally verified genetic information. It includes four additional questionnaires to capture patient reported outcomes related to pain, quality of life and scapular fixation. Between 2013 and 2015, 518 patients registered 243 males, 241 females with a mean age of 47.8 years. Most of the patients have FSHD type 1 (91.7 %), and weakness of the facial (59.2 %) was the most prevalent symptom at onset, followed by shoulder-girdle muscles (53.3 %) and distal (22.45 %) or proximal lower limb weakness (14.8 %). 85.57 % patients were ambulant or ambulant with assistance at the time of registration, 7.9 % report respiratory insufficiency. The registry has demonstrated utility with the recruitment of patients for a natural history study of infantile onset FSHD, and the longitudinal analysis of patient-related outcomes will provide much-needed baseline information to power future trials. The internationally agreed core dataset enables national registries to participate in a "Global FSHD registry". We suggest that the registry's ability to interoperate with other large datasets will be instrumental for sharing and exploiting data globally.

Keywords: Clinical trials; Data sharing; FSHD; Minimal dataset; Rare diseases; Registries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral / classification
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral / diagnosis*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral / epidemiology*
  • Registries*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult