Managing Dermatomyositis

What is Dermatomyositis (DM)

Dermatomyositis is an immune-mediated idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM) characterised by chronic inflammation of the skin and muscles, leading to cutaneous rashes and progressive, mainly proximal, muscle weakness.1

Patients with IIMs (including DM) often experience an increased morbidity, malignancy and mortality compared to the healthy population with 5-year mortality estimates ranging from 23%-73%.2 In contrast to other rheumatic diseases for which the mortality gap compared to general population has decreased over the last decades, there was no such trend observed for patients with dermatomyositis2. This clearly warrants need for improvement in management and treatment of IIMs.

Managing Dermatomyositis:

In absence of international guidelines for the management and treatment of dermatomyositis, patients are managed based on symptoms and disease severity.1,3

Adpted from Goyal, N.A (1) and Glaubitz, S. (3).


1. Goyal, N. A. (2019) Immune-Mediated Myopathies. Continuum 25, 1564–1585.

2. D’Silva, K. M. et al. (2021) Persistent premature mortality gap in dermatomyositis and polymyositis: A United Kingdom general population-based cohort study. Rheumatology 60, 2653–26602.

3. Glaubitz S. et al. (2020). Therapeutic advances in musculoskeletal disease 12, 1759720X19886494.

4. Octagam®10%. Summary of Product Characteristics. May 2021.

5. USA Product Information /Package Insert- OCTAGAM 10% ( Octapharma USA Inc. June 2021.

6. Aggarwal, R. et al. 2016 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism criteria for minimal, moderate, and major clinical response in adult dermatomyositis and polymyositis. An International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group/ Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation Collaborative Initiative. Ann. Rheum. Dis. 76, 792–801

7. Aggarwal, R. et al. Prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase III study evaluating efficacy and safety of octagam®10% in patients with dermatomyositis (“ProDERM Study”). Medicine (Baltimore) 100, e23677

8. Ahmed S, Chen KL, Werth VP. The validity and utility of the Cutaneous Disease Area and Severity Index (CDASI) as a clinical outcome instrument in dermatomyositis: a comprehensive review. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2020;50(3):458-462.

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