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J Clin Immunol. 1995 Nov;15(6 Suppl):70S-75S.

Update on the use of intravenous immune globulin in the treatment of patients with inflammatory muscle disease.

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Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892, USA.


The inflammatory myopathies consist of three distinct groups: dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and inclusion body myositis. Dermatomyositis is distinguished by its characteristic rash, while polymyositis is a diagnosis of exclusion. Inclusion body myositis is characterized by early involvement of distal muscle groups and the quadriceps. Definitive diagnosis is made by muscle biopsy, which demonstrates histological features characteristic for each disorder. Immune mechanisms play a role in the pathogenesis of the inflammatory myopathies. A complement-mediated microangiopathy is seen in dermatomyositis, while there is evidence for a T cell-mediated process in polymyositis and inclusion body myositis. Treatment with prednisone is helpful to a majority of patients for a period of time. Immunosuppressive drugs have met with limited success. We describe a group of patients with dermatomyositis, resistant to available therapies, whose muscle strength, skin changes, and muscle biopsies improved significantly during treatment with intravenous immune globulin. The treatment of polymyositis and inclusion body myositis with intravenous immune globulin is currently under study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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