Hungarian Immunology

[Diagnostic value of MRI in patients with juvenile dermatomyositis]

CONSTANTIN Tamás, PONYI Andrea, BALÁZS György, SALLAI Ágnes, DANKÓ Katalin, FEKETE György, KARÁDI Zoltán

FEBRUARY 15, 2004

Hungarian Immunology - 2004;3(02)

[Diagnosis of juvenile dermatomyositis is based on the presence of proximal muscle weakness, characteristic skin lesions, muscle enzyme elevation in the serum, and may requires the performance of invasive procedures such as electromyography and/or muscle biopsy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is considered to be an objective non-invasive tool to detect muscle involvement for diagnosis as well as for follow-up studies. We report a case of a 12 years old girl with definitive juvenile dermatomyositis. She received glucocorticoid therapy and achieved remission of the disease. After a long-term relapse free period, she was presented with severe proximal muscle weakness and normal creatinine kinase levels. The laboratory studies did not reveal acute inflammation or infection. In this case MRI was diagnostic to the relapse of juvenile dermatomyositis, with an increased STIR (short tau inversion recovery) signal of proximal muscles. The muscle involvement detected by MRI correlated with functional ability. After she achieved clinical remission, further follow-up MRI scans demonstrated that the affected muscles had returned to normal signal intensity. Findings of dermatomyositis on MRI scans include increased signal intensity in the affected muscles, perimuscular edema, chemical-shift artifact, and increased signal intensity in subcutaneous tissue. MRI is a sensitive technique and proposed to be a good indicator for an early diagnosis of the disease. MRI may also help to guide the muscle biopsy and may enhance the sensitivity of histological examination. After completion of therapy, MRI may be used for monitoring the progress of the disease as signal intensity of affected muscles returns to normal. MRI is also helpful, if the diagnosis is suspected but has not been formally evaluated.]

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