Categorizing natural history trajectories of ambulatory function measured by the 6-minute walk distance in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Neuromuscuarl Disorders, 2016 05. e-pub ahead of print 2016/07/18; doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2016.05.016.

High variability in patients' changes in 6 minute walk distance (6MWD) over time has complicated clinical trials of treatment efficacy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). We assessed whether boys with DMD could be grouped into classes that shared similar ambulatory function trajectories as measured by 6MWD.  After accounting for age, baseline 6MWD, and steroid use, four latent trajectory classes were identified as explaining 3-year 6MWD outcomes significantly better than a single average trajectory.The extent to which trajectories are associated with novel and established prognostic factors warrants further study. Reducing unexplained variation in patient outcomes could help to further improve DMD clinical trial design and analysis.

View abstract


Mercuri E, Signorovitch J, Swallow E, Song J, Ward SJ.