Bisphosphonates in juvenile dermatomyositis with dystrophic calcinosis

Mod Rheumatol. 2015 Jul;25(4):615-20. doi: 10.3109/14397595.2014.988197. Epub 2015 Mar 24.


Objectives: Our primary objective was to retrospectively analyze whether bisphosphonates initiated in combination with immunosuppressive drugs and/or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) resulted in a radiological and clinical improvement of dystrophic calcinosis in six female juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) patients.

Methods: Medical records of the patients were reviewed. All six patients met the Bohan and Peter diagnostic criteria for JDM.

Results: A resolution of calcinosis was observed in four of the six patients with JDM following the use of bisphosphonates and intensive immunosuppressive therapy with or without IVIG. Bisphosphonates were unable to either decelerate the progression of calcinosis or improve calcinosis in cases 5 and 6. In case 5, it took a relatively long time to control the disease activity despite the appropriate immunsuppressive treatment and she experienced multiple flares of active JDM. Case 6 had a long duration of severe active disease before treatment initiation. No important adverse event was observed.

Conclusions: Early commencement of aggressive immunosuppressive agents in combination with bisphosphonate is a choice for the treatment of calcinosis in JDM patients. Concomitant use of IVIG may have an additional effect on the resolution of calcinosis.

Keywords: Bisphosphonate; Dystrophic calcinosis; Immunosuppressive treatment; Intravenous immunoglobulin; Juvenile dermatomyositis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis
  • Calcinosis / drug therapy*
  • Calcinosis / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatomyositis / complications
  • Dermatomyositis / diagnosis
  • Dermatomyositis / drug therapy*
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Diphosphonates