Anti-Jo-1 antibody-positive patients show a characteristic necrotizing perifascicular myositis

Brain. 2015 Sep;138(Pt 9):2485-92. doi: 10.1093/brain/awv192. Epub 2015 Jul 21.


Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies can be classified as polymyositis, dermatomyositis, immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy, sporadic inclusion body myositis or non-specific myositis. Anti-Jo-1 antibody-positive patients are assigned to either polymyositis or dermatomyositis suggesting overlapping pathological features. We aimed to determine if anti-Jo-1 antibody-positive myopathy has a specific morphological phenotype. In a series of 53 muscle biopsies of anti-Jo-1 antibody-positive patients, relevant descriptive criteria defining a characteristic morphological pattern were identified. They were tested in a second series of anti-Jo-1 antibody-positive patients and compared to 63 biopsies from patients suffering from other idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. In anti-Jo-1 antibody-positive patients, necrotic fibres, which strongly clustered in perifascicular regions, were frequently observed. Sarcolemmal complement deposition was detected specifically in perifascicular areas. Inflammation was mainly located in the perimysium and around vessels in 90.6%. Perimysial fragmentation was observed in 90% of cases. Major histocompatibility complex class I staining was diffusely positive, with a perifascicular reinforcement. Multivariate analysis showed that criteria defining perifascicular pathology: perifascicular necrosis, atrophy, and perimysial fragmentation allow the distinction of anti-Jo-1 antibody-positive patients, among patients suffering from other idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. Anti-Jo-1 antibody-positive patients displayed perifascicular necrosis, whereas dermatomyositis patients exhibited perifascicular atrophy.

Keywords: anti-synthetase; dermatomyositis; idiopathic inflammatory myopathies; necrotizing myopathies; polymyositis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Dermatomyositis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ligases / immunology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / ultrastructure
  • Myositis* / blood
  • Myositis* / immunology
  • Myositis* / pathology
  • Myositis, Inclusion Body / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantibodies
  • Jo-1 antibody
  • Ligases