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Br J Rheumatol. 1998 Dec;37(12):1338-42.

Benefit of 6 months long-term physical training in polymyositis/dermatomyositis patients.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Vienna, Austria.



The benefit of long-term physical training in patients with chronic polymyositis or dermatomyositis (PM/DM) was studied prospectively.


Eight patients with chronic PM/DM participated in a training programme for 6 months. A group of five PM/DM patients without any physical training was observed for control purposes.


While there was no significant change in serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels, the 'activities of daily living (ADL)' score improved significantly (P < 0.03), peak isometric torque (PIT) generated by muscle groups in the lower extremities rose significantly (P < 0.03) and there was a statistically highly significant increase in peak oxygen uptake (VO2max) relative to body weight (P < 0.02) due to the long-term training. The patients improved their aerobic capacity by 28%, which is clinically significant. In the untrained patients, no improvement in these target parameters was observed.


In clinically stable DM/PM patients, long-term physical training can safely be performed and is recommended as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation management, particularly in view of the cardiopulmonary risk in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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