Why are inflammatory infiltrates missed in a muscle-biopsy specimen for evaluation of polymyositis?

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

Because the inflammatory infiltrates can be small and multifocal, they can be missed in a small muscle-biopsy specimen. Perifascicular atrophy or prominent perivascular infiltrates are not present, and the blood vessels are normal. When the disease becomes chronic, the connective tissue increases. The diagnosis of polymyositis is definite when a patient has subacute, elevated levels of serum CK and findings on muscle biopsy consistent with the histologic features of polymyositis.


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