Dermatomyositis: What are its symptoms, causes and treatment - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Dermatomyositis: What are its symptoms, causes and treatment


Dermatomyositis is a disorder of the connective-tissue which is defined by swelling of the skin and muscles. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dermatomyositis: What are its symptoms, causes and treatment

  • Dermatomyositis is a disease of the
    connective-tissue which is defined by swelling of
    the skin and muscles. This condition affects
    adults and children however it is more common in
    females than males. It mostly affects the skin
    and muscles, but it may also affect the lungs and
    oesophagus. Paraneoplastic is a phenomenon that
    develops in the presence of cancer, usually
    pre-existent ones. In such cases, the removal of
    the cancerous growth results in dermatomyositis.
    The condition, on diagnosis, discloses dystrophic
    calcification of muscles and sometimes calcium
    deposits under the skin. The accompanying rash
    appears and disappears with topical applications,
    but the Gottron's papules, pink knuckle patches,
    and priapism are unmistakable symptoms. This
    malady is studied in relation to polymyositis and
    body myositis. When the condition strikes
    children, it is referred to as juvenile
    dermatomyositis (JDM).

What are the causes of Dermatomyositis
  • The cause of dermatomyositis is not known yet
    however, research reveals that it could be
    associated with a viral infection or some
    autoimmune reaction. There have been a number of
    cases in which the condition has developed in the
    presence of autoimmune diseases such as
    scleroderma, lupus or vasculitis. The link
    between dermatomyositis and autoimmune disease
    has been established beyond doubt and is the main
    reason for the preference of antinuclear antibody
    tests for proper diagnosis.

  • Skin rash
  • Symmetric proximal muscle weakness
  • Muscle pain
  • Temporary paralysis
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Scaly skin eruption
  • Flat, erythematous lesion on the shoulders and
  • Periungual telangiectasias
  • Erythema
  • Psoriasiform scalp changes
  • Gastrointestinal infection
  • Lung problems

  • Muscle fascicles, surrounded by shrunken
    polygonal muscle fibres
  • Mature lymphocytes, with scant cytoplasm and dark
  • B- and T-cells in equal numbers
  • Damaged microscopic vessels and lymphocytic
  • Tissue ischemia
  • Dominant lymphocyte myopathies, inflammatory in
  • This condition can be treated with the help
    of prednisone, plasmapheresis, IVIG (intravenous
    immunoglobulin), and chemotherapy. Today, there
    are a number of immune-modulating drugs available
    to address the onset of this condition. Before
    the treatment, a thorough diagnosis of the
    condition with the help of EMG (electromyography),
    muscle biopsy, and a number of other
    prescribed blood testsis done. The muscle biopsy
    results usually highlight either mixed B and
    T-cell perivascular infiltrate or perifascicular
    muscle atrophy.

  • The condition is commonly associated with
    auto-antibodies like anti-Jo1. Dermatomyositis is
    also treated with the help of orthotic devices.
    Options like intravenous immunoglobulin,
    immunosuppressants, and topical corticosteroids
    are a part of the treatment.
  • Corticosteroids help to suppress the immune
    system and limit antibody production. This helps
    in reducing the painful muscle and skin
    inflammation. However, prolonged corticosteroid
    usage results in osteoporosis, weight gain, and
    diabetes. The immunosuppressant treatment option
    includes the administration of drugs such
    as azathioprine and methotrexate. Anti-malarial
    medication like hydroxychloroquine and
    chloroquine phosphate also helps to ease the
    inflammation. Physiotherapy is also an important
    part of treatment. The exercises are designed
    around the need to improve muscle strength and
    flexibility. Surgery is a treatment option
    resorted only to remove the painful calcium
    deposits. Doctors may also prescribe pain
    relievers and radiation therapy.

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