This study aims to extract quantifiable indices characterizing ultrasound propagation and scattering in skeletal muscle, from data acquired using a real-time linear array scanner in a paediatric muscle clinic, in order to establish early diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in young children, as well as to chart the progressive severity of the disease. Approximately 40 patients with gait disorders, aged between 1 and 11 years, were scanned with a real-time linear array ultrasound scanner, at 5 MHz. A control group consisted of approximately 50 boys, in the same age range, with no evidence or history of muscle disease. Results show that ultrasound quantitative methods can provide a tight clustering of normal data, and also provide a basis for charting the degree of change in diseased muscle. The most significant (quantitative) parameters derive from the frequency of the attenuation and the muscle echogenicity. The approach provides a discrimination method that is more sensitive than visual assessment of the corresponding image by even an experienced observer. There are also indications that the need for traumatic muscle biopsy may be obviated in some cases.