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Disease Profile

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

1-9 / 100 000

US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset






Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

LGMD2A; Calpainopathy; Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2;


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Musculoskeletal Diseases; Nervous System Diseases


Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is an autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy characterized by progressive, symmetrical weakness of the proximal limb and girdle muscles (mainly those around the hips and shoulders) without heart involvement or intellectual disability.[1][2] The condition is caused by mutations in the CAPN3 gene. Type 2A is the most common form of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, accounting for about 30 percent of cases.[3] Treatment is aimed at maintaining mobility and preventing complications.[2]

LGMD2A is also known as primary calpainopathy.[1] Calpainopathies are diseases caused by mutations in the CAPN3 gene and can be autosomal recessive or autosomal dominant.[2]

There are three subtypes of autosomal recessive disorders associated with mutations in the CAPN3 gene which differ by the distribution of muscle weakness and age at onset:[2]

  • Pelvifemoral limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (also known as Leyden-Mobius LGMD) is the most frequently observed subtype. In these cases, muscle weakness is first evident in the pelvic girdle and later in the shoulder girdle. Onset is usually before age 12 or after age 30; 
  • Scapulohumeral LGMD (also known as Erb LGMD) usually has milder symptoms with infrequent early onset. In most cases, muscle weakness is first evident in the shoulder girdle and later in the pelvic girdle; 
  • HyperCKemia is usually observed in children or young individuals. In most cases, those affected do not have symptoms, just high levels of creatine kinase in their blood.


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
80%-99% of people have these symptoms
Generalized muscle weakness
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Ankle flexion contracture
Calf muscle hypertrophy
Increased size of calf muscles
Congenital finger flexion contractures
Difficulty walking
Difficulty in walking
Elbow flexion contracture
Contractures of elbows
Elbow contracture
Elbow contractures

[ more ]

Elevated serum creatine kinase
Elevated blood creatine phosphokinase
Elevated circulating creatine phosphokinase
Elevated creatine kinase
Elevated serum CPK
Elevated serum creatine phosphokinase
High serum creatine kinase
Increased CPK
Increased creatine kinase
Increased creatine phosphokinase
Increased serum CK
Increased serum creatine kinase
Increased serum creatine phosphokinase

[ more ]

Hamstring contractures
Prominent swayback
Lower limb muscle weakness
Lower extremity weakness
Lower limb weakness
Muscle weakness in lower limbs

[ more ]

Muscular dystrophy
Pectoralis amyotrophy
Wasting of pec muscles
Pelvic girdle amyotrophy
Proximal muscle weakness
Weakness in muscles of upper arms and upper legs
Scapular muscle atrophy
Scapular winging
Winged shoulder blade
Spinal rigidity
Reduced spine movement
Toe walking
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Difficulty climbing stairs
Difficulty walking up stairs
Facial palsy
Bell's palsy
Wrist flexion contracture
Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Autosomal recessive inheritance
High blood eosinophil count
Flexion contracture
Flexed joint that cannot be straightened
Muscle inflammation
Proximal amyotrophy
Wasting of muscles near the body


Making a diagnosis for a genetic or rare disease can often be challenging. Healthcare professionals typically look at a person’s medical history, symptoms, physical exam, and laboratory test results in order to make a diagnosis. The following resources provide information relating to diagnosis and testing for this condition. If you have questions about getting a diagnosis, you should contact a healthcare professional.

Testing Resources

  • The Genetic Testing Registry (GTR) provides information about the genetic tests for this condition. The intended audience for the GTR is health care providers and researchers. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.


    Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

    Organizations Supporting this Disease

      Organizations Providing General Support

        Learn more

        These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

        Where to Start

        • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
        • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

          In-Depth Information

          • GeneReviews provides current, expert-authored, peer-reviewed, full-text articles describing the application of genetic testing to the diagnosis, management, and genetic counseling of patients with specific inherited conditions.
          • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
          • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
          • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
          • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
          • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


            1. Autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A. Orphanet. January 2014; https://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?lng=EN&Expert=267.
            2. Angelini C, Fanin M. Calpainopathy. GeneReviews. November 26, 2014; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1313/.
            3. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). December 2014; https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/limb-girdle-muscular-dystrophy.