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Dermatomyositis

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Dermatomyositis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Idiopathic inflammatory myopathy
  • IIM
  • ADM
  • Polymyositis
  • Childhood dermatomyositis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Juvenile (Childhood) Dermatomyositis (JDMS)
  • Adult Dermatomyositis
  • Dermatomyositis sine myositis

General Discussion

Dermatomyositis is a progressive connective tissue disorder characterized by inflammatory and degenerative changes of the muscles and skin. Associated symptoms and physical findings may vary widely from case to case. Muscle abnormalities may begin with aches and weakness of the muscles of the trunk, upper arms, hips, and thighs (proximal muscles). Muscles may be stiff, sore, and tender and, eventually, show signs of degeneration (atrophy). Affected individuals may experience difficulty in performing certain functions, such as raising their arms and/or climbing stairs. In addition, affected individuals may experience speech and swallowing difficulties.

Skin abnormalities associated with dermatomyositis often include a distinctive reddish-purple rash (heliotrope rash) on the upper eyelids, across the cheeks and bridge of the nose in a "butterfly" distribution, the forehead, or additional skin regions; scaling and degenerative (atrophic) changes of affected skin on the extending surfaces of the knuckles, elbows, knees, and/or other regions (Gottron's sign); an abnormal accumulation of fluid (edema) in body tissues surrounding the eyes; and/or other features.

The symptoms of childhood dermatomyositis are similar to those associated with the adult form of the disorder. However, onset is usually more sudden. In addition, abnormal accumulations of calcium deposits (calcifications) in muscle and skin tissues as well as involvement of the digestive (gastrointestinal [GI]) tract are more common in the childhood form of dermatomyositis.

Although the exact cause of dermatomyositis is not known, it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder.

Resources

Myositis Association
1737 King Street
Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314
USA
Tel: (703)299-4850
Fax: (703)535-6752
Tel: (800)821-7356
Email: tma@myositis.org
Internet: http://www.myositis.org

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668
Email: aarda@aarda.org
Internet: http://www.aarda.org/

Arthritis Foundation
1330 West Peachtree Street, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30309
USA
Tel: (404)872-7100
Tel: (800)283-7800
Email: arthritisfoundation@arthritis.org
Internet: http://www.arthritis.org

Muscular Dystrophy Association
3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
USA
Tel: (520)529-2000
Fax: (520)529-5300
Tel: (800)572-1717
Email: mda@mdausa.org
Internet: http://www.mda.org/

Myositis Support Group
146 Newtown Road
Woolston
Southampton, S019 9HR
United Kingdom
Tel: 02380449708
Fax: 02380396402
Email: msg@myositis.org.uk
Internet: http://www.myositis.org.uk

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
USA
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
TDD: (301)565-2966
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niams.nih.gov/

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
USA
Email: mums@netnet.net
Internet: http://www.netnet.net/mums/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766
Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

Autoimmune Information Network, Inc.
PO Box 4121
Brick, NJ 08723
Fax: (732)543-7285
Email: autoimmunehelp@aol.com

European Society for Immunodeficiencies
1-3 rue de Chantepoulet
Geneva, CH 1211
Switzerland
Tel: 410229080484
Fax: 41229069140
Email: esid@kenes.com
Internet: http://www.esid.org

AutoImmunity Community
Email: moderator@autoimmunitycommunity.org
Internet: http://www.autoimmunitycommunity.org

Myositis Support Group at the Hospital for Special Surgery
2nd Floor Conference Center, Room A
535 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212)774-7623
Fax: (212)774-2333
Email: fischbeins@hss.edu
Internet: http://www.hss.edu/MyositisGroup.asp

Child Neurology Foundation
2000 West 98th Street
Bloomington, MN 55431
USA
Tel: (952)641-6100
Fax: (952)881-6276
Tel: (877)263-5430
Email: jstone@childneurologyfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.childneurologyfoundation.org

Cure JM Foundation
826 Lynwood Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024
USA
Tel: (760)487-1079
Fax: (760)230-2243
Email: info@curejm.com
Internet: http://www.curejm.org

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  7/23/2007
Copyright  1986, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization of Rare Disorders

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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