Anthropometric Measures Correspond with Functional Motor Outcomes in Females with Rett Syndrome

Kathleen J. Motil, Suzanne Geerts, Fran Annese, Jeffrey L. Neul, Tim Benke, Eric Marsh, David Lieberman, Steven A. Skinner, Daniel G. Glaze, Peter Heydemann, Arthur Beisang, Shannon Standridge, Robin Ryther, Jane B. Lane, Lloyd Edwards, Alan K. Percy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To characterize growth and anthropometric measurements in females with Rett syndrome and compare these measurements with functional outcomes. Study design: We obtained longitudinal growth and anthropometric measurements from 1154 females with classic and atypical Rett syndrome seen between 2006 and 2019 in the US Natural History Study. We calculated the Clinical Severity Score, Motor Behavior Assessment score, and arm and leg muscle areas and recorded the functional assessments of arm and hand use and ambulation. We compared growth and anthropometric variables from females with Rett syndrome in regard to normative data. We analyzed Clinical Severity Score, Motor Behavior Assessment, and anthropometric measurements in regard to functional assessments. Results: Growth and anthropometric measurements were significantly lower in females with classic and severe atypical Rett syndrome compared with those classified as mild atypical Rett syndrome and deviated from normative patterns among all 3 groups. Suprailiac skinfold measurements correlated with body mass index measurements in each group. Lower leg muscle area measurements were significantly greater among females in all 3 Rett syndrome groups who ambulated independently compared with those who did not. In females with classic Rett syndrome, arm, thigh, and lower leg muscle area measurements increased significantly over time and were significantly greater among those who had purposeful arm and hand use and independent ambulation compared with those who did not. Conclusions: The pattern of growth and anthropometric measures in females with Rett syndrome differs from normative data and demonstrates clear differences between classic and mild or severe atypical Rett syndrome. Anthropometric measures correspond with functional outcomes and could provide markers supporting efficacy outcomes in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-177.e3
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - May 2022


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