Which clinical history findings are characteristic of sporadic inclusion body myositis (s-IBM)?

Updated: Jun 08, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Collins, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Since s-IBM is an acquired myopathic process, weakness or impairment of muscle function in the area(s) affected is the presenting symptom. The disease follows a slowly progressive course. [73]

The distribution of weakness in s-IBM is variable, but both proximal and distal muscles are usually affected and, unlike polymyositis and dermatomyositis, asymmetry is common.

Early involvement of the knee extensors, ankle dorsiflexors, and wrist/finger flexors is characteristic of s-IBM.

Weakness of the wrist and finger flexors is often disproportionate to that of their extensor counterparts. Hence, loss of finger dexterity and grip strength may be a presenting or prominent symptom.

Dysphagia is common, occurring in 40-66% of patients with well-established disease and in 9% of patients at presentation. [69, 74] Dysphagia may manifest as a feeling of stasis, a need to swallow repeatedly, regurgitation, or choking. Mild facial weakness may be noted in about one third of patients. [75]

Isolated erector spinae weakness or "droopy neck" syndrome has been reported with s-IBM. [76]

Myalgias and cramping are relatively uncommon.

Sensory and autonomic dysfunction is not present except in patients with a concurrent polyneuropathy.

Cardiac disease is common; it is most likely due to the older age of most patients. Direct cardiac muscle involvement by the disease has not been demonstrated.

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