Graft-versus-host disease-related polymyositis

Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Apr;29(4):431-33. doi: 10.1007/s10067-009-1350-5.


Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) sometimes mimics autoimmune diseases. We report the case of a 39-year-old patient who presented atypical polymyositis without elevated creatinine phosphokinase, related to a chronic GVHD following interruption of immunosuppressive treatment. Treatment with cyclosporine and corticosteroids resulted in complete and sustained remission of the polymyositis. The symptoms of chronic GVHD-related polymyositis are indistinguishable from those of idiopathic polymyositis. The context of transplantation and a decrease or interruption of prophylaxis suggest the diagnosis of GVHD-related polymyositis, especially if other manifestations of GVHD are associated. A suitably adapted treatment (association of corticotherapy and cyclosporine) improves polymyositis, and in most cases, a normal clinical state is achieved even if the symptoms were severe.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Graft vs Host Disease / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Polymyositis / drug therapy
  • Polymyositis / etiology*
  • Polymyositis / immunology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine