|Front Muscles of Trunk|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- A virus that sets off the condition
- A reaction to certain drugs that set off the condition
- Age: 50-70 years old
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop polymyositis than men.
- General weakness (lethargy)
Weakness in the muscles of the hips and shoulders—occurs slowly and gradually over a period of weeks or even months
- This gradual muscle weakness is often the first sign of the disease
- Achy, tender muscles
- Weight loss
- Fatigue after standing or walking
- Trouble rising from a chair
- Great effort needed to climb stairs
- Struggle to lift objects
- Difficulty reaching overhead (eg, unable to comb your hair)
- Trouble with swallowing (when muscles in the front of the neck and throat become involved)—rare
- Difficulty breathing (if it affects the lungs or chest muscles)—rare
- Blood test—to check for autoantibodies (antibodies that attack parts of your body)
- Creatine kinase test—blood test that looks for elevated levels of muscle proteins or enzymes called creatine kinase (CK) (when a muscle is damaged, CK is released into the bloodstream)
- Aldolase test—a blood test that looks for elevated levels of aldolase (a substance released into the bloodstream when a muscle is damaged)
- Electromyogram (EMG) —measures activity of your muscles, often used to help find causes of muscle weakness or damage
- Muscle biopsy —a small piece of muscle tissue is removed and examined to see if the muscle is damaged in some way
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) —noninvasive scan, using magnetic waves, of your muscles to see if any muscles are inflamed
- Methotrexate (eg, Rheumatrex, Trexall)
- Azathioprine (eg, Azasan, Imuran)
- Other drugs to suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporine (eg, Gengraf, Neoral, Restasis), chlorambucil (eg, Leukeran)
- Rituximab (Rituxan)
- Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors (eg, etanercept [Enbrel], infliximab [Remicade])
- A regular stretching routine for weakened arms and legs
- Light strengthening as the pain lessens and function returns
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association http://www.aarda.org/
The Myositis Association http://www.myositis.org/
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Myositis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00198&return%5Flink=0 . Updated July 2007. Accessed November 10, 2010.
Choy EH, Hoogendijk JE, Lecky B, Winer JB, Gordon P. Immunosuppressant and immunomodulatory treatment for dermatomyositis and polymyositis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(4):CD003643.
Idiopathic inflammatory myopathy: treatment. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated September 2, 2011. Accessed September 28, 2011.
Myositis Association. Getting diagnosed. The Myositis Association website. Available at: http://www.myositis.org/learn-about-myositis/diagnosis . Accessed September 12, 2005.
Myositis Association. Myositis FAQ. Myositis Association website. Available at: http://www.myositis.org/learn-about-myositis/types-of-myositis. Accessed September 12, 2005.
Myositis Association. Treatment. Myositis Association website. Available at: http://www.myositis.org/learn-about-myositis/treatment. Accessed September 12, 2005.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Polymyositis information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/polymyositis/polymyositis%5Fpr.htm . Accessed September 12, 2005.
Polymyositis. The Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/polymyositis/DS00334/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs . Updated July 7, 2011. Accessed September 28, 2011.
Simply stated: the creatine kinase test. Quest. 2000;7(1).
- Reviewer: Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
- Update Date: 12/30/2011 -