Respiratory assessment in centronuclear myopathies


  • Barbara K. Smith PT, PhD,

    1. Department of Physical Therapy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
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  • Melissa Goddard BSc,

    1. Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • Martin K. Childers DO, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, NICHD- K12HD055929 (B.K.S.), NHLBI- 1R01HL115001, NIAMS- 1R21AR064503 (MKC), Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), Joshua Frase Foundation, Peter Khuri myopathy research fund, and the WillCure foundation.


The centronuclear myopathies (CNMs) are a group of inherited neuromuscular disorders classified as congenital myopathies. While several causative genes have been identified, some patients do not harbor any of the currently known mutations. These diverse disorders have common histological features, which include a high proportion of centrally nucleated muscle fibers, and clinical attributes of muscle weakness and respiratory insufficiency. Respiratory problems in CNMs may manifest initially during sleep, but daytime symptoms, ineffective airway clearance, and hypoventilation predominate as more severe respiratory muscle dysfunction evolves. Respiratory muscle capacity can be evaluated using a variety of clinical tests selected with consideration for the age and baseline motor function of the patient. Similar clinical tests of respiratory function can also be incorporated into preclinical CNM canine models to offer insight for clinical trials. Because respiratory problems account for significant morbidity in patients, routine assessments of respiratory muscle function are discussed. Muscle Nerve 50: 315–326, 2014