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J Neurol. 2006 Dec;253(12):1625-32.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound in dermatomyositis- and polymyositis.

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Erratum in

  • J Neurol. 2007 Sep;254(9):1308. Huttner, B Hagen [corrected to Huttner, Hagen B].



To evaluate prospectively contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in patients suspected of having dermatomyositis or polymyositis.


In 35 patients (23 women, 12 men; mean age, 51 years+/-16 years) who were suspected of having dermatomyositis or polymyositis, perfusion in clinically affected skeletal muscles was quantified with contrast-enhanced intermittent power Doppler ultrasound. By applying a modified model that analyzed the replenishment kinetics of microbubbles, the perfusion-related parameters blood flow, local blood volume and blood flow velocity were measured. Findings were compared with muscle biopsy appearances and with the results of MRI that was performed with a 1.5-Tesla unit. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed and optimum thresholds for diagnosis of myositis were determined.


Eleven patients had histologically confirmed dermatomyositis or polymyositis and showed significantly higher blood flow velocity (P=.01 for dermato- and P<.001 for polymyositis), blood flow (P<.001 for dermato- and polymyositis), and blood volume (P=.007 for dermato- and P<.001 for polymyositis) on contrast-enhanced ultrasound than those who did not have myositis. An increase in signal intensity on T2-weighted MR images was found in all patients with myositis. MRI had a sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV), and negative predicting values (NPV) of 100%, 88%, 77%, and 100% for diagnosis of myositis, respectively. CEUS blood flow was the best ultrasound measure for diagnosis of dermato- or polymyositis with sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of 73%, 91%, 80%, and 88%, respectively.


Increased skeletal muscle perfusion measured by CEUS could serve as an additional measurer for the diagnosis of an inflammatory myopathy.

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