Current Practices in Treating Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD): Understanding Care Practices in Order to Optimize DMD Heart Failure Through ACTION.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1007/s00246-021-02807-7; PMCID: PMC8756173


Cardiac disease has emerged as a leading cause of mortality in Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the current era. This survey sought to identify the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to DMD among pediatric cardiologists in Advanced Cardiac Therapies Improving Outcomes Network. Pediatric cardiology providers within ACTION (a multi-center pediatric heart failure learning network) were surveyed regarding their approaches to cardiac care in DMD. Thirty-one providers from 23 centers responded. Cardiac MRI and Holter monitoring are routinely obtained, but the frequency of use and indications for ordering these tests varied widely. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor and aldosterone antagonist are generally initiated prior to onset of systolic dysfunction, while the indications for initiating beta-blocker therapy vary more widely. Seventeen (55%) providers report their center has placed an implantable cardioverter defibrillator in at least 1 DMD patient, while 11 providers (35%) would not place an ICD for primary prevention in a DMD patient. Twenty-three providers (74%) would consider placement of a ventricular assist device (VAD) as destination therapy (n = 23, 74%) and three providers (10%) would consider a VAD only as bridge to transplant. Five providers (16%) would not consider VAD at their institution. Cardiac diagnostic and therapeutic approaches vary among ACTION centers, with notable variation present regarding the use of advanced therapies (ICD and VAD). The network is currently working to harmonize medical practices and optimize clinical care in an era of rapidly evolving outcomes and cardiac/skeletal muscle therapies.

Journal Title

Pediatric cardiology





First Page


Last Page


MeSH Keywords

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors; Cardiomyopathies; Child; Heart; Heart Failure; Humans; Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne


Cardiomyopathy; Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Heart failure

Library Record