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High association of mycobacterial infections with polymyositis in a non-endemic country for tuberculosis
  1. Antti Airio1,
  2. Markku Kauppi1,
  3. Hannu Kautiainen1,
  4. Markku Hakala1,3,
  5. Vuokko Kinnula2
  1. 1
    Rheumatism Foundation Hospital, Heinola, Finland
  2. 2
    Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3
    Department of Musculoskeletal Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical School, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
  1. Dr Antti Airio, Mütionkatu 11 AZ, FIN-20740 Turku, Finland; antti.airio{at}

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The susceptibility to mycobacterial infections of immunosuppressed subjects, for example, those treated actively for rheumatic diseases, is widely recognized.1 2 However, the co-existence of mycobacterial infection (caused either by Mycobacterium tuberculosis or other mycobacterial infections) and polymyositis (PM) has been reported only in small series of patients 25 predominantly from countries where tuberculosis (TB) is endemic 2 3 or in immigrants in a Western country.4 5

We assessed the frequency of mycobacterial infections in patients with PM and dermatomyositis (DM) in Finland, a non-endemic country for TB that has kept detailed registry for TB. All patients with an ICD-8 code for PM (716.00) and DM (716.10) who had been discharged from any Finnish hospital …

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