Objective: To report our experience using mycophenolate mofetil as first-line treatment for dermatomyositis-associated interstitial lung disease.
Methods: We examined the medical records of all 16 dermatomyositis patients with interstitial lung disease seen in our outpatient university hospital dermatology clinic between May 26, 2006, and May 25, 2009. In this retrospective case series, we describe the clinical course of the 4 patients with definitive evidence of interstitial lung disease on radiologic imaging who were treated with mycophenolate mofetil and had pulmonary data available to document their outcome. All of the patients also received prednisone.
Results: All 3 patients with at least 1 year of followup receiving mycophenolate mofetil experienced complete normalization of pulmonary function tests (including diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide) and resolution of dyspnea. They were also able to reduce their prednisone doses. The only patient with pre- and posttreatment chest computed tomography imaging had total resolution of her interstitial opacities. The patient with only 5 months of posttreatment followup experienced an improvement in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide from 44% to 77% predicted, but no change in dyspnea.
Conclusion: These promising data indicate that mycophenolate mofetil may be a useful therapy for interstitial lung disease in patients with dermatomyositis, but larger studies are needed to more definitively evaluate the role of this medication in therapy.