Rapidly progressive polymyositis with elevated antiacetylcholine receptor antibody activity

Intern Med. 2000 Dec;39(12):1108-10. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.39.1108.


We report a 51-year-old woman with polymyositis accompanied by a high titer of antiacetylcholine receptor antibody. The patient presented with weakness of grip strength followed by rapidly progressive dyspnea, which required mechanical ventilation. She was treated with a glucocorticoid and came off the respirator one week later. Antiacetylcholine receptor antibody activity was elevated in the acute phase and decreased during recovery, although other signs of myasthenia gravis were negative. This patient suggested that in cases of rapidly progressive bulbar palsy and limb muscle weakness, it is necessary to include polymyositis associated with elevated antiacetylcholine receptor antibody activity in the differential diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Female
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Myasthenia Gravis / diagnosis
  • Polymyositis / diagnosis*
  • Polymyositis / immunology
  • Quadriplegia / etiology
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / immunology*
  • Reflex, Abnormal
  • Respiration, Artificial


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • Methylprednisolone