Immune-mediated myopathies (IMMs) are a heterogeneous group of acquired muscle disorders characterized by muscle weakness, elevated creatine kinase levels, and myopathic electromyographic findings. Most IMMs feature the presence of inflammatory infiltrates in muscle. However, the inflammatory exudate may be absent. Indeed, necrotizing autoimmune myopathy (NAM), also called immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy, is characterized by a necrotizing pathologic process with no or minimal inflammation in muscle. The recent discovery of antibodies associated with specific subtypes of autoimmune myopathies has played a major role in characterizing these diseases. Although diagnostic criteria and classification of IMMs currently are under revision, on the basis of the clinical and muscle histopathologic findings, IMMs can be differentiated as NAM, inclusion body myositis (IBM), dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and nonspecific myositis. Because of recent developments in the field of NAM and IBM and the controversies around polymyositis, this review will focus on NAM, IBM, and dermatomyositis.
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