How are polymyositis and dermatomyositis differentiated?

Updated: Feb 12, 2018
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Polymyositis and dermatomyositis have many shared clinical features. Both present as symmetrical muscle weakness that develops over weeks to months. Initial treatment with corticosteroids usually produces a response; however, nonresponders require further treatment. Moreover, both conditions may be associated with malignancies. [5] Despite these similarities, muscle biopsy findings and characteristic skin findings of dermatomyositis reveal each as a distinct clinical entity.


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