Using a micropipette aspiration technique, erythrocyte membrane shear elastic modulus was determined for 23 patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for 14 female carriers, and for three control groups (age matched boys and adult males and females). On average the elastic modulus was slightly greater than normal for both affected males and female carriers. However, there was overlap in the values from all groups. The decreased deformability of dystrophic membranes demonstrated by the test is not great enough to be used for carrier detection nor to make the possibility of prenatal diagnosis likely.
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