Acute gastric dilatation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a case report and review of the literature

Bensen ES, Jaffe KM, Tarr PI. Acute gastric dilatation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A case report and review of the literature. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 1996;77:512-514.




Duchenne muscular dystropby (DMD) is the most common neuromuscular disorder of childhood. Its clinical characteristics that derive from skeletal muscle involvement have been well described. Less well known is that visceral smooth muscle is affected in DMD. We report a case of a 19-year-old man with DMD who presented with severe nonradiating epigastric pain. We was initially sent home from the emergency department with a diagnosis of costochondritis. Acute gastric dilation was not considered in the differential diagnosis despite supportive history, physical examination findings, and radiographs. The case illustrates the lack of familiarity by clinicians of the gastrointestinal manifestations of DMD, including gastric dilatation and intestinal pseudoobstruction. Following a case discussion, the literature relevant to acute gastric atony is reviewed.

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