Juvenile dermatomyositis: new insights and new treatment strategies

Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2012 Feb;4(1):41-50. doi: 10.1177/1759720X11424460.


Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rare but complex and potentially life-threatening autoimmune disease of childhood, primarily affecting proximal muscles and skin. Although the cause of JDM remains unknown it is clear that genetic and environmental influences play a role in the aetiology. In contrast to adults with dermatomyositis, children with JDM are more likely to have complications that are thought to indicate a vasculopathic process, such as severe skin disease, with ulceration or calcinosis, gut vasculopathy or central nervous system disease. New treatments are much needed and are becoming available and being tested through international multicentre trials. This review will focus on recent insights into pathogenesis, the assessment of the disease in children and the modern approach to its treatment.

Keywords: dermatomyositis; idiopathic inflammatory muscle disease; juvenile; myopathy.