To investigate the relationship between resting energy expenditure (REE) and body composition in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
An observational study.
University Research Centre.
Nine Duchenne children (age range 6-12 y), mean relative weight 128%, agreed to undergo the investigation and all of them completed the study;
Assessment of body composition (total body fat and skeletal muscle mass) by magnetic resonance imaging and resting energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry.
Fat mass (FM; kg and percentage weight), fat-free mass (FFM; kg and percentage weight), muscle mass (kg and percentage weight), resting energy expenditure (kJ/kg body weight and kJ/kg fat-free mass).
: In Duchenne children fat mass averages 32% and total skeletal muscle mass 20% of body weight. Resting energy expenditure per kg of body weight falls within the normal range for children of the same age range, while when expressed per kg of FFM is significantly higher than reference values. No relationship was found between REE and total skeletal muscle mass.
Our results do not demonstrate a low REE in DMD boys; on the contrary REE per kg of FFM is higher than normal, probably due to the altered FFM composition. We suggest that the development of obesity in DMD children is not primarily due to a low REE but to other causes such as a reduction in physical activity and or overfeeding.