Looking After The Heart Of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

The aim of cardiac management in DMD is early detection and treatment of the deterioration of heart muscle function (usually cardiomyopathy – involvement of heart muscle, or rhythm problems leading, for example, to palpitations) that commonly accompanies the overall progression of the disease. As this often happens silently (that is without the growth of sizeable symptoms) it needs to be seemed out for so it can be treated promptly. The important factors to consider in cardiac management are surveillance and proactive
management. You need to be sure that there is a cardiologist involved with the care team.
How To Looking After The Heart

Surveillance
• Baseline evaluation of cardiac function should be performed at
the confirmation of the diagnosis or at latest through the age of six
years. Minimum evaluation should include an electrocardiogram
(ECG) and echocardiogram.
• Evaluation of cardiac function should happen at minimum once each two many years till the age of ten. Yearly total
cardiac evaluations should begin at approximately ten many years of age or in the onset of cardiac signs and
symptoms, if earlier. If non-invasive cardiac assessments indicate abnormalities, improved surveillance is required, at minimum
every six months, and drug treatment should be initiated.
Treatment
• Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors should be regarded as as first-line therapy. Other medicines
such as beta-blockers and diuretics are also suitable and should follow published guidelines for the
management of heart failure. There is some evidence from clinical trials to support the prophylactic treatment
of cardiomyopathy with ACE inhibitors prior to any signs of abnormal functioning. Further studies are awaited
to allow firm recommendations with this regard.
• Abnormalities of heart rhythm should be promptly investigated and treated. A fast heart rate is a commonly
noted harmless feature of DMD, but can be also seen with heart problems. If it develops as a manufacturer new finding it
should be investigated.
• Individuals undergoing treatment with steroids need additional attention from the cardiovascular perspective,
especially monitoring for hypertension (high bloodstream pressure). Steroid dose may perhaps require adjustment or further
treatment may perhaps need to be added

Important Facts to Remember:
1. Your son’s heart should be checked regularly starting from the time he is diagnosed.
2. In DMD the heart may be already damaged before symptoms appear.
3. This means that your son may need to start heart medication even if he does not have symptoms of heart problems.
4. It is good to pick up silent problems so that they can be treated promptly.
5. Keep a copy of your son’s latest heart tests to show any other physician who may see your son.

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