COVID-19 in advanced Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy patients

Hagit Levine*, Dario Prais, Sharon Aharoni, Yoram Nevo, Julia Katz, Eyal Rahmani, Lotem Goldberg, Oded Scheuerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common childhood muscular dystrophy. As a result of progressive muscle weakness, pulmonary function decreases during the second decade of life and lung disease contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality in these patients. Corticosteroids are the current standard of care for patients with DMD, despite known adverse effects such as obesity and immunosuppression. Over the past year (2020), the novel coronavirus (COVID-19/SARS-CoV2) outbreak has caused a global pandemic. Restrictive lung disease due to low lung volumes, chronic immunosuppressive treatment with corticosteroids, and obesity are potential risk factors that may contribute to a more severe course of the disease. Out of 116 Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy patients treated in our tertiary neuromuscular center, six patients with DMD and one with advanced Becker muscular dystrophy were found to be positive for COVID-19 infection. Two of the DMD patients were admitted for hospitalization, of whom one was dependent on daily nocturnal non-invasive ventilation. All patients recovered without complications despite obesity, steroid treatment and severe restrictive lung disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalNeuromuscular Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Becker muscular dystrophy
  • COVID-19
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Non-invasive ventilation
  • Restrictive lung disease


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