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Intern Med. 2003 Dec;42(12):1233-9.

Dermatomyositis with peripheral nervous system involvement: activation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptor (VEGFR) in vasculitic lesions.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Tokushima University, Tokushima.


We describe two cases of dermatomyositis (DM) with nervous system involvement. Polyneuropathy was observed in both patients, and cerebral vasculitis was suspected in one patient. Histological examination of biopsied specimens of skeletal muscles, skin and sural nerves revealed vasculitis. Furthermore, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptors (VEGFRs) were overexpressed in vasculitic lesions. Although, VEGF and VEGFRs were not detected in biopsied specimens of skeletal muscle from normal subjects, they were observed in one of two patients with DM who did not exhibit neuropathy. These findings suggest the possibility that VEGF overproduction is associated with development of vasculitis in some cases of DM complicated with peripheral neuropathy.

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