Volume 1184, Issue 1 p. 134-153

Dermatomyositis and polymyositis

Clinical presentation, autoantibodies, and pathogenesis

Andrew L. Mammen

Andrew L. Mammen

Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Search for more papers by this author
First published: 15 January 2010
Citations: 141
Address for correspondence: Andrew L. Mammen, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dept. of Neurology, Johns Hopkins Bayview, Johns Hopkins Myositis Center, Mason F. Lord Building Center Tower, Suite 4100, Baltimore, MD 21224. Voice: 410-550-6962; fax: 410-550-3542. [email protected]


Dermatomyositis (DM) and polymyositis (PM) are autoimmune myopathies characterized clinically by proximal muscle weakness, muscle inflammation, extramuscular manifestations, and frequently, the presence of autoantibodies. Although there is some overlap, DM and PM are separate diseases with different pathophysiological mechanisms. Furthermore, unique clinical phenotypes are associated with each of the myositis-specific autoantibodies (MSAs) associated with these disorders. This review will focus on the clinical features, pathology, and immunogenetics of PM and DM with an emphasis on the importance of autoantibodies in defining unique phenotypes and, perhaps, as clues to help elucidate the mechanisms of disease.