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Question 2: Do steroids prolong ambulation and improve quality of life in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy?
  1. Sahana Rao
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sahana Rao, Department of Neurology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Paul O'Gorman Building, Upper Mauldin Street, Bristol BS2 8BJ, UK; sahanauday{at}

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A 3-year-old boy was seen in the community paediatric clinic for follow up of his Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). There have been recent discussions about starting him on steroids. His parents would like to know if treatment with glucocorticoid corticosteroids (GCs) has been shown to prolong ambulation and the best age to start steroids. They also want to know if steroids reduce the complications of DMD and if the side effects of long-term steroids are acceptable.

Structured clinical question

In children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy [patients], do glucocorticoid corticosteroids [intervention] prolong ambulation, improve muscle function and reduce complications [outcomes]?

Search strategy and outcome

Secondary sources

A search of The Cochrane Library yielded one relevant review.

Primary sources

Advanced searches of MEDLINE and EMBASE were carried out.

Search terms

Search terms were Duchenne muscular dystrophy, muscular dystrophy, Duchenne, steroids, corticosteroids, glucocorticoids.

Search outcome

A total of 249 studies were …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.