(HealthDay)—Ultrasonography findings seem to correlate well with the disease activity of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs), and may be a useful tool for patient evaluation, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.
Joana Sousa Neves, M.D., from the Hospital Conde de Bertiandos in Ponte de Lima, Portugal, and colleagues evaluated 15 IIM patients (from 2005 to 2015). Patients had a mean age of 52.2 ± 22.09 years and mean disease duration of 4.6 ± 3.20 years. Assessments included a physical examination, muscle strength tests, laboratory analysis, and a selective muscle ultrasonography assessment.
The researchers found that nine of the 15 patients were in clinical remission, and ultrasonography revealed a preserved muscle pattern. In one patient with longstanding polymyositis with proximal weakness, symmetrical proximal muscle atrophy was found. In the remaining five patients, inflammation and focal or generalized muscle edema were present with muscular weakness, suggesting active disease. One of these patients in acute flare presented with atrophy changes plus edema. An additional patient had early untreated myositis with moderate power Doppler signal.
"As far as muscle ultrasonography assessment is concerned, a single specific pattern was not observed in our study. A mixture of muscle edema and atrophy was detected depending on disease activity and duration," the authors write. "Ultrasonography findings seem to correlate well with disease activity, suggested by clinical data, and may be a useful tool to complement patient evaluation."
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