Fatal cardiomyopathy in dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa

Br J Dermatol. 1996 Oct;135(4):603-6.


Two unrelated children with autosomal recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) developed fatal dilated cardiomyopathy. Both were malnourished and had severe growth problems. We believe that the most likely cause for the cardiomyopathy is a micronutrient deficiency, most probably selenium deficiency, since the serum selenium level was found to be reduced in the case in whom we measured this, and in 14 of 25 other children with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Echocardiographic screening of 18 other patients revealed no evidence of cardiomyopathy. We recommend careful attention to nutrition, with prospective monitoring of vitamins and micronutrients including selenium and carnitine, and regular echocardiographic screening of patients with severe RDEB.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / blood
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica / blood
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica / complications*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Selenium / blood
  • Selenium / deficiency
  • Ultrasonography


  • Selenium