Background Polymyositis (PM) and Dermatomyositis (DM) are a multisystem disease characterised by acute and chronic nonsuppurative inflammation of striated muscle and skin.
Objectives Objectives of this study is to describe the clinical profile, course and treatment of 47 cases of PM and DM observed over a period of 26 years.
Methods Retrospective review of 47 cases with PM and DM.
Results There were 36 women and 11 men with a mean age of 35 years. The classification showed: 21 cases of PM and 16 cases of DM, one case of DM was associated with a malignancy, one case of DM in children and 8 cases of an overlapping syndrome. Muscle weakness and myalgia were constant, non destructive arthritis or arthralgia were observed in 32 cases, calcinosis in 2 patients (1 DM in children and 1 overlapping syndrome with scleroderma).
Results of biological tests, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and serum enzyme determination were abnormal in respectively 29 cases and 46 cases.
The electromyogram was generally of a myogenic type with spontaneous activity (39/41). Steroïd therapy is prescribed in all cases and additional immunosuppressive drug (methotrexate, cyclophosphamide) is performed in 15 cases.
Conclusion DM and PM are a multisystemic disease with good response to only steroïd therapy associated to immunosuppressive drugs.
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