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Polymyositis, A Simple Guide To The Condition, Diagnosis, Treatment And Related Conditions

69 pages44 minutes


This book describes Polymyositis, Diagnosis and Treatment and Related Diseases
Polymyositis is a rare inflammatory disease of the muscles.
It causes muscle weakness, swelling, tenderness, and tissue injury.
It is component of a bigger group of diseases called myositis.
It can involve many muscles in the body, such as those of:
1.The musculoskeletal system,
2.The respiratory system and
3.The ENT sphere.
The precise cause is not known but it may be linked to an autoimmune reaction or infection.
It appears that there are genetic tendencies to this disease.
In genetically predisposed patients, the start of polymyositis would be affected by certain environmental factors.
A chronic immune reaction is believed to be accountable for the muscle inflammation typical of polymyositis.
Polymyositis can involve people at any age.
It is most frequent in adults between ages 50 and 60, and in older children.
It affects women two times as often as men.
Polymyositis is a generalized disorder.
This indicates it involves the whole body.
Muscle weakness and tenderness can be features of polymyositis.
A rash is a sign of a similar disorder, dermatomyositis
Frequent symptoms are:
1.Muscle weakness in the shoulders and hips.
The patient may find it hard to raise the arms over the head, get up from a sitting position or climb stairs.
2.Difficulty swallowing.
3.Shortness of breath
When it involves the muscles of the musculoskeletal system, polymyositis is normally indicated by:
1.A weakness that occurs in the proximal muscles of the arms, shoulders and thighs;
2.Muscle pain, also called myalgia.
This weakness and muscle pain complicates the quality of daily life.
When it involves the respiratory system, polymyositis can present with several symptoms:
3.Difficulty breathing, also called dyspnea.
When it happens in the ENT sphere, polymyositis particularly involves the pharyngeal muscles.
1.Swallowing disorders;
2.Nasal regurgitation;
3.Cough while eating;
4.Hoarseness of the voice;
5.Nasal voice
Tests may be:
1.Autoimmune antibodies and inflammation tests
3.Serum aldolase
5.MRI of affected muscles
6.Muscle biopsy
7.Myoglobin in the urine
People with this disorder also must be monitored carefully for signs of cancer.
Treatment of polymyositis is normally based on medicines and physiotherapy.
The drug treatment of polymyositis is dependent on immunomodulators.
As first treatment corticosteroid medicines is given.
It is successful in 60 to 70% of cases.
The dose of medicine is slowly reduced off as muscle strength increases.
This requires about 4 to 6 weeks.
The patient will maintain on a low dose of a corticosteroid medicine after that.
Medicines to suppress the immune system may be given as substitutes for the corticosteroids.
These drugs may involve azathioprine, methotrexate or mycophenolate.
For disease that stays active in spite of corticosteroids, intravenous gamma globulin has been given with mixed results.
Biologic drugs also may be given.
Rituximab seems to be the most effective and promising.
It is important to rule out other disorders in people who do not respond to treatment.
A repeat muscle biopsy may be considered necessary to make this diagnosis.
If the condition is associated with a tumor, it may improve if the tumor is removed.
The treatment of polymyositis also involves physiotherapy through re-education and rehabilitation sessions.
Complications may be:
1.Calcium deposits in the affected muscles, particularly in children with the disease
3.Heart disease,
4.Lung disease, or
5.Abdominal complications

Chapter 1 Polymyositis

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