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Dermatomyositis (Pediatric)

What is juvenile dermatomyositis?

Dermatomyositis is an inflammation of the muscles and skin caused by immune problems.

What are the symptoms of dermatomyositis?

Symptoms are proximal and symmetrical muscle weakness and a rash on the face and over the knuckles, knees, and elbows. A more severe form of this condition may cause shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing.  There may be abnormal deposits of calcium in nodules and in muscles.  Laboratory testing may reveal elevated serum levels of muscle enzymes, myositis-specific autoantibodies, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein.  There may be electromyographic changes, and on MRI, symmetrical muscle swelling.  A muscle biopsy may show inflammation, variations in fiber sizes, and necrosis.

What is the treatment for dermatomyositis?

Treatment includes corticosteroids, methotrexate, mycophenolate, rituximab, and intravenous immune globulin. Physical therapy is essential for people with this condition.