Inflammatory Myopathies

What are Inflammatory Myopathies? Inflammatory myopathies are a group of diseases characterized by chronic inflammation causing muscle damage and weakness. While the etiology of inflammatory myopathies has not yet been fully elucidated, they are thought to be caused primarily by a dysfunction in the immune system, leading to an autoimmune response. Other possible contributing factors include an allergic reaction in response to a toxic substance or medication or infection.

Main types of Inflammatory Myopathies

  • Polymyositis
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Inclusion body myositis
  • Necrotizing autoimmune myopathy

Clinical Characteristics of Inflammatory Myopathies

Inflammatory myopathies are described with a classical clinical manifestation, but they often manifest with a variety of symptoms that may include:

  • Weakness in the large muscles of the neck, shoulder, and hips.
  • Difficulty in climbing stairs, standing from a seated position, and reaching for objects overhead.
  • Weakness of muscles that is not always accompanied by pain or tenderness.
  • Inability to swallow food properly often causing choking or aspiration.
  • Shortness of breath and cough.
  • Being easily fatigued.

Source: Diseases and Conditions Inflammatory Myopathies. (n.d.). American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from