Longitudinal data of serum creatine kinase levels and motor, pulmonary, and cardiac functions in 337 patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Muscle Nerve. 2024 May;69(5):604-612. doi: 10.1002/mus.28073. Epub 2024 Mar 21.


Introduction/aims: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) presents with skeletal muscle weakness, followed by cardiorespiratory involvement. The need for longitudinal data regarding DMD that could serve as a control for determining treatment efficacy in clinical trials has increased notably. The present study examined the longitudinal data of Japanese DMD patients collectively and assessed individual patients with pathogenic variants eligible for exon-skipping therapy.

Methods: Patients with DMD who visited Kobe University Hospital between March 1991 and March 2019 were enrolled. Data between the patients' first visit until age 20 years were examined.

Results: Three hundred thirty-seven patients were included. Serum creatine kinase levels showed extremely high values until the age of 6 years and a rapid decline from ages 7-12 years. Both the median 10-m run/walk velocity and rise-from-floor velocity peaked at the age of 4 years and declined with age. The values for respiratory function declined from the age of 11 years. The median left ventricular ejection fraction was >60% until the age of 12 years and rapidly declined from ages 13-15 years. Examination of the relationship between pathogenic variants eligible for exon-skipping therapy and longitudinal data revealed no characteristic findings.

Discussion: We found that creatine kinase levels and motor, respiratory, and cardiac functions each exhibited various changes over time. These findings provide useful information about the longitudinal data of several outcome measures for patients with DMD not receiving corticosteroids. These data may serve as historical controls in comparing the natural history of DMD patients not on regular steroid use in appropriate clinical trials.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; cardiac function; creatine kinase; motor function; respiratory function.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Humans
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne* / drug therapy
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left
  • Young Adult


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Creatine Kinase