Diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory myopathy: issues and management

Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2012 Apr;4(2):111-20. doi: 10.1177/1759720X11425092.


The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies include polymyositis (PM), dermatomyositis (DM) and inclusion body myositis (IBM). The specific etiologies of these muscle diseases are not well known and are thought to involve components of the humoral and cellular immune system as well as other nonimmune factors. Diagnosing these myopathies involves a laboratory evaluation, imaging studies, multidisciplinary consultations, histologic examination and potentially genetic studies. Despite all that we currently know about inflammatory muscle disease with these studies, we find that our current concept of muscle disease is changing. In the cases of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy and inclusion body myositis, the concept of inflammation needs to be rethought. Moreover, the classification schemes for these idiopathic myopathies may need updating to include current research findings that relate to pathogenesis. With ongoing discoveries, classification and appropriate treatment is becoming increasingly challenging. This paper discusses the inflammatory myopathies, the challenges to diagnosis, classification controversies and potential treatment options.

Keywords: inflammatory; muscle biopsy; myopathy; treatment; vacuoles.