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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

CENTERS AND INSTITUTES


Myositis


Myositis

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MYOSITIS

The hallmark feature of myositis is muscle weakness with an onset that is often insidious. Patients complain of 'proximal' weakness with difficulty holding their arms above their head or getting up from a chair or walking up steps. DM is characterized by any number of rashes located on the face, hands, elbows, knees or scalp but rashes can become generalized as well. Many other signs and symptoms occur such as fatigue, fever, Raynaud phenomenon, difficulty swallowing and joint pain, but pulmonary involvement is an important and serious feature commonly seen in patients with PM and DM. Such patients complain of dyspnea and may develop interstitial lung disease (ILD) alone or in combination with pulmonary hypertension.

Diagnosis

Myositis can be difficult to diagnose and there are many mimics of the IIM including drug-induced myopathy, thyroid problems, various neurologic conditions or even forms of muscular dystrophy.
Tests that are helpful in making the diagnosis of myositis include: