MRI in inflammatory myopathies

Skeletal Radiol. 2000 Aug;29(8):425-38. doi: 10.1007/s002560000238.


Inflammatory myopathies encompass a group of acquired muscle disorders caused by infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasitic agents) or autoimmune processes (polymyositis, dermatomyositis and other types). In suspected infection sonography, CT and MRI are all able to show edema and fluid collections in soft tissues and muscles; sonography and CT may help guidance of a needle aspiration to establish a correct diagnosis. By offering better tissue differentiation, MRI appears to be more efficient than sonography and CT in diagnosing and managing autoimmune myopathies. MRI is indeed very sensitive to the presence of water and edema, and appears to be a very good indicator for an early diagnosis of diseases. MRI may also help to evaluate the extent and number of lesions, to guide a biopsy in an area of active disease and finally to follow the evolution under therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Humans
  • Infections / complications
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Myositis / diagnosis*
  • Myositis / etiology