Respiratory Trajectories in Type 2 and 3 Spinal Muscular Atrophy in the iSMAC Cohort Study

Marika Pane, Eugenio Maria Mercuri, Giorgia Coratti, Adele D'Amico, Enrico Silvio Bertini, Federica Trucco, Deborah Ridout, Mariacristina Scoto, Marion L. Main, Robert Muni Lofra, Anna G. Mayhew, Jacqueline Montes, Valeria Sansone, Sonia Messina, Claudio Bruno, Deepak Parasuraman, Anne-Marie Childs, Vasantha Gowda, Tracey Willis, Min OngChiara Marini-Bettolo, Darryl C. De Vivo, Basil T. Darras, John Day, Elizabeth A. Kichula, Oscar H. Mayer, Aledie A. Navas Nazario, Richard S. Finkel, Francesco Muntoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: To describe the respiratory trajectories and their correlation with motor function in an international pediatric cohort of patients with type 2 and nonambulant type 3 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). METHODS: This was an 8-year retrospective observational study of patients in the International SMA Consortium (iSMAc) natural history study. We retrieved anthropometrics, forced vital capacity (FVC) absolute, FVC percent predicted (FVC%P), and noninvasive ventilation (NIV) requirement. Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale (HFMS) and revised Performance of Upper Limb (RULM) scores were correlated with respiratory function. We excluded patients in interventional clinical trials and on nusinersen commercial therapy. RESULTS: There were 437 patients with SMA: 348 with type 2 and 89 with nonambulant type 3. Mean age at first visit was 6.9 (±4.4) and 11.1 (±4) years. In SMA type 2, FVC%P declined by 4.2%/y from 5 to 13 years, followed by a slower decline (1.0%/y). In type 3, FVC%P declined by 6.3%/y between 8 and 13 years, followed by a slower decline (0.9%/y). Thirty-nine percent with SMA type 2% and 9% with type 3 required NIV at a median age 5.0 (1.8-16.6) and 15.1 (13.8-16.3) years. Eighty-four percent with SMA type 2% and 80% with type 3 had scoliosis; 54% and 46% required surgery, which did not significantly affect respiratory decline. FVC%P positively correlated with HFMS and RULM scores in both subtypes. CONCLUSIONS: In SMA type 2 and nonambulant type 3, lung function declines differently, with a common leveling after age 13 years. Lung and motor function correlated in both subtypes. Our data further define the milder SMA phenotypes and provide information to benchmark the long-term efficacy of new treatments for SMA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e587-e599
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Internationality
  • Male
  • Respiration Disorders
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophies of Childhood
  • Humans


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