The heart in dermatomyositis and polymyositis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2006 Oct:45 Suppl 4:iv18-21. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kel311.


Cardiovascular manifestations constitute a major cause of death in myositis. Despite this, clinically manifest cardiac involvement in polymyositis and dermatomyositis is relatively rare. In contrast, subclinical manifestations are frequently reported and are predominated by conduction abnormalities and arrhythmias detected by ECG. The most frequently reported clinically overt manifestations are congestive heart failure, conduction abnormalities, that may lead to complete heart block, and coronary artery disease. The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms that may cause cardiac manifestations involve myocarditis and coronary artery disease as well as involvement of the small vessels of the myocardium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Dermatomyositis / complications
  • Dermatomyositis / mortality
  • Dermatomyositis / pathology*
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Heart Diseases / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Myocarditis / etiology
  • Myocarditis / mortality
  • Myocarditis / pathology
  • Polymyositis / complications
  • Polymyositis / mortality
  • Polymyositis / pathology*
  • Prognosis