Concomitant dermatomyositis and myasthenia gravis presenting with respiratory insufficiency

Muscle Nerve. 2002 Feb;25(2):293-6. doi: 10.1002/mus.10022.


We report a 28-year-old woman with a history of chronic immune-mediated hepatitis, in whom the simultaneous manifestation of dermatomyositis and myasthenia gravis resulted in severe neck extensor weakness and subacute respiratory insufficiency, followed by proximal muscle weakness and external ophthalmoplegia. Radiological signs of a thymoma were absent. The distinguishing clinical, electrophysiological, and biopsy findings are discussed. We suggest that an underlying immunoregulatory disorder was present, explaining the occurrence of three rare immune-mediated diseases in one patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dermatomyositis / complications*
  • Dermatomyositis / pathology
  • Dermatomyositis / physiopathology
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune / complications
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / complications
  • Humans
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Myasthenia Gravis / complications*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / physiopathology
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology*