Adult inflammatory myopathies.
The major inflammatory myopathies of adults-dermatomyositis, polymyositis and inclusion body myositis-are uncommon and can be difficult to distinguish from many conditions that mimic them clinically. They have a high morbidity; they are not infrequently the first sign of an associated malignancy; and they may be a part of another connective tissue disease. Their pathogenetic features suggest that they are different illnesses. Dermatomyositis and polymyositis are clearly inflammatory, both clinically and histologically, and both generally respond to therapy directed towards inflammation. Inclusion body myositis is now generally recognized as the most common myopathy presenting in patients over the age of 50 years, and it responds only modestly and sometimes not at all to immunosuppressive therapy. In this review, we have summarised the major newly recognized features of pathogenesis, the involvement of extramuscular organs, the differential diagnosis, diagnostic approaches and the main lines of therapy.
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