Duchenne muscular dystrophy cardiomyopathy (DMD-DCM) is characterized by progressive ventricular dilation and dysfunction that can begin at any age and worsens over time. Thanks to the lengthening of life expectancy due to better management of respiratory involvement, end-stage heart failure (HF) is becoming the main cause of death for DMD patients. Therefore, from the time of DMD diagnosis, every effort should be focused to early detect the onset and the worsening of the DMD-DCM, with the aim of starting and modulating the therapy to slow the progression of cardiac dysfunction. In cardiac evaluation, biomarkers, electrocardiograms, and echocardiograms must be considered, but cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is now acquiring a leading role due to its sensitivity in the earlier identification of cardiac involvement. The management of DMD-DCM at end stage is a difficult challenge that requires a multidisciplinary team composed of clinical cardiologists, electrophysiologists, cardiac surgeons, neuromuscular specialists, and psychologists. Because of the lack of specific drugs for DMD, we will review the actual cardiovascular armamentarium including drugs used for HF.
Part of the book: Cardiomyopathy