Practice guideline update summary: Corticosteroid treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.
To update the 2005 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) guideline on corticosteroid treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In children with DMD, prednisone should be offered for improving strength (Level B) and pulmonary function (Level B). Prednisone may be offered for improving timed motor function (Level C), reducing the need for scoliosis surgery (Level C), and delaying cardiomyopathy onset by 18 years of age (Level C). Deflazacort may be offered for improving strength and timed motor function and delaying age at loss of ambulation by 1.4–2.5 years (Level C). Deflazacort may be offered for improving pulmonary function, reducing the need for scoliosis surgery, delaying cardiomyopathy onset, and increasing survival at 5–15 years of follow-up (Level C for each). Deflazacort and prednisone may be equivalent in improving motor function (Level C). Prednisone may be associated with greater weight gain in the first years of treatment than deflazacort (Level C). Deflazacort may be associated with a greater risk of cataracts than prednisone (Level C). The preferred dosing regimen of prednisone is 0.75 mg/kg/d (Level B). Over 12 months, prednisone 10 mg/kg/weekend is equally effective (Level B), with no long-term data available. Prednisone 0.75 mg/kg/d is associated with significant risk of weight gain, hirsutism, and cushingoid appearance (Level B).