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Ann Neurol. 2009 Jan;65(1):7-11. doi: 10.1002/ana.21622.

Sporadic inclusion body myositis: pathogenic considerations.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, McGill University, Montreal Neurological Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. george.karpati@mcgill.ca


Sporadic inclusion body myositis is the commonest acquired disease of skeletal muscles after 50 years of age, and as such it has commanded a great deal of attention of investigators over the past 25 years. As a result, a large amount of information has accumulated concerning its clinical profile, myopathology, and immunopathology. In the myopathology and immunopathology, there is general agreement that the characteristic features could be divided into a degenerative and an inflammatory group. However, there has been controversy about the possible role of these changes in the pathogenesis of muscle fiber damage. In particular, there is no agreement whether a cause-and-effect relationship exists between these two groups of changes, and if so, which is the primary one. In this brief overview, we examine the validity of the various controversial observations and critically review the justification for the two major hypotheses for the primary role of inflammation versus degeneration.

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