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Inclusion body myositis: therapeutic approaches

Authors Aggarwal R, Oddis

Received 23 November 2011

Accepted for publication 8 February 2012

Published 10 May 2012 Volume 2012:2 Pages 43—52


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Rohit Aggarwal, Chester V Oddis

Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Abstract: The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies are a heterogeneous group of diseases that include dermatomyositis (DM), polymyositis (PM), inclusion body myositis (IBM) and other less common myopathies. These are clinically and histopathologically distinct diseases with many shared clinical features. IBM, the most commonly acquired inflammatory muscle disease occurs in individuals aged over 50 years, and is characterized by slowly progressive muscle weakness and atrophy affecting proximal and distal muscle groups, often asymmetrically. Unlike DM and PM, IBM is typically refractory to immunotherapy. Although corticosteroids have not been tested in randomized controlled trials, the general consensus is that they are not efficacious. There is some suggestion that intravenous immunoglobulin slows disease progression, but its long-term effectiveness is unclear. The evidence for other immunosuppressive therapies has been derived mainly from case reports and open studies and the results are discouraging. Only a few clinical trials have been conducted on IBM, making it difficult to provide clear recommendations for treatment. Moreover, IBM is a slowly progressive disease so assessment of treatment efficacy is problematic due to the longer-duration trials needed to determine treatment effects. Newer therapies may be promising, but further investigation to document efficacy would be expensive given the aforementioned need for longer trials. In this review, various treatments that have been employed in IBM will be discussed even though none of the interventions has sufficient evidence to support its routine use.

Keywords: inclusion body myositis, clinical features, treatment

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