MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In adolescent patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), use of a handheld device (HHD) to assess pulmonary function at home is feasible and provides reliable data, according to an analysis recently published in the Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases.

Gunnar M. Buyse, M.D., Ph.D., from University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues assessed the feasibility of home-based monitoring of pulmonary function by an HHD among patients with DMD during a 12-month study period. In addition to the previously published findings of this phase III randomized trial comparing the effect of idebenone versus placebo on loss of pulmonary function in 10- to 18-year-old DMD patients, peak expiratory flow (PEF) measurements were collected weekly at home using a peak flow meter HHD.

The researchers found a high adherence rate for use of the HHD during the study (75.9 percent). They also observed a correlation between data obtained on the same day by standard spirometry and by HHD for PEF expressed as percent of predicted.

“This study demonstrates that home-based monitoring of pulmonary function in adolescent patients with DMD using a HHD is feasible, provides reliable data compared to hospital-based spirometry, and is therefore suitable for use in clinical practice and for clinical trials,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Santhera Pharmaceuticals, which sponsored the study.

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