Objective: The aim was to update the genetic and clinical advances of congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), based on a systematic review of the literature from 1991 to 2017.
Data sources: Articles in English published in PubMed from 1991 to 2017 English were searched. The terms used in the literature searches were CMD.
Study selection: The task force initially identified citations for 98 published articles. Of the 98 articles, 52 studies were selected after further detailed review. Three articles, which were not written in English, were excluded from the study. This study referred to all the important and English literature in full.
Results: CMD is a group of early-onset disorders encompassing great clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Patients present with muscle weakness typically from birth to early infancy, delay or arrest of gross motor development, and joint and/or spinal rigidity. The diagnosis of CMD relies on clinical findings, brain and muscle imaging, muscle biopsy histology, muscle and/or skin immunohistochemical staining, and molecular genetic testing.
Conclusions: Advances in next-generation sequencing and histopathological techniques have enabled the recognition of distinct CMD subtypes supported by specific gene identification. Genetic counseling and multidisciplinary management of CMD play an important role in help patients and their family. Further elucidation of the significant clinical and genetic heterogeneity, therapeutic targets, and the clinical care for patients remains our challenge for the future.