Successful treatment with tacrolimus of progressive interstitial pneumonia associated with amyopathic dermatomyositis refractory to cyclosporine

Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Apr;29(4):443-5. doi: 10.1007/s10067-009-1358-x. Epub 2010 Feb 4.


A 58-year-old male was admitted to our hospital because of periungual nailfold an erythema and erythematous rash on the dorsal joints of his hands and feet, but no muscle weakness. He was thus diagnosed to have amyopathic dermatomyositis. He had moderate hypoxemia and his chest computed tomography scans demonstrated bilateral ground-glass opacities, implicating complication with interstitial pneumonia. Therapy was initiated with pulsed methylprednisolone followed by high-dose corticosteroids, pulsed cyclophosphamide, and cyclosporine. The skin manifestations improved; however, the pulmonary infiltrates and hypoxemia deteriorated during the 2-month period of the treatment. The treatment was switched from cyclosporine to tacrolimus because of an inadequate clinical response to the therapy, and this resulted in the resolution of interstitial pneumonia. This case indicates that tacrolimus administration should be considered for patients with this life-threatening disorder when it is judged to be refractory to cyclosporine.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Dermatomyositis / complications*
  • Dermatomyositis / drug therapy
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / drug therapy*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Failure


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Tacrolimus