Ten females presenting with muscle weakness and a raised serum creatine kinase revealed abnormalities in the expression of dystrophin in their muscle biopsies and were diagnosed as manifesting carriers of Xp21 Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy. Seven cases, aged 3-22 yr at the time of biopsy, had a variable proportion of dystrophin-deficient fibres and an abnormal expression on immunoblot. These were confidently diagnosed as manifesting carriers. Results in the remaining three cases, aged 8-10 yr, were less clear-cut. Dystrophin expression on immunoblots was slightly reduced and some unevenness and reduction of immunolabelling was seen on sections, but dystrophin-deficient fibres were not a feature of these cases. The weakness in the ten carriers ranged from minimal to severe and there was no correlation between the degree of weakness and the number of dystrophin-deficient fibres. Two minimally weak girls had a high proportion of dystrophin-deficient fibres. Our results show that analysis of dystrophin expression is useful for the differential diagnosis of carriers of Xp21 dystrophy and autosomal muscular dystrophy, but that dystrophin expression does not correlate directly with the degree of clinical weakness.