What is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tool for the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy?

Updated: Aug 17, 2020
  • Author: Twee T Do, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey D Thomson, MD  more...
  • Print

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also supports early identification and evaluation of motor delays to enable a quicker referral to a specialist for diagnosis. In collaboration with the National Task Force for Early Identification of Childhood Neuromuscular Disorders, the CDC developed a Web-based diagnostic tool, www.childmuscleweakness.org, to assist providers in primary care, rehabilitation medicine, and physical and occupational therapy in the evaluation of children with motor delay and early manifestations of neuromuscular disorders. The website content was endorsed by the AAP. [70]

ChildMuscleWeakness.org provides guidance on motor surveillance and screening and includes an aid to the assessment of motor development milestones and recommendations for evaluating the following milestones [71] :

  • Infant+: Head lag on pull to sit
  • Age 6+ months: Achieving and maintaining sitting
  • Age 12+ months: Rising to stand from the floor and gait (walking and running)

If a delay is found by using the surveillance aid, a motor delay algorithm provides guidance on testing and referral. The following findings are red flags that indicate the need for an urgent referral to a neurologist:

  • Tongue fasciculations
  • Loss of motor milestones
  • Creatine phosphokinase (CK) level higher than three times normal (however, children with some neuromuscular disorders have normal CK levels)

Many neuromuscular conditions increase the risk for malignant hyperthermia with anesthesia use, and anticipated surgery should increase the urgency of a diagnostic evaluation.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!