Recently, there have been important advances in the understanding of the pathophysiologic features, assessment, and management of patients with a newly diagnosed idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM). Myositis-specific autoantibodies have been identified to define patient subgroups and offer prognostic implications. Similarly, proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 6 and type 1 interferon-dependent genes, may serve as potential biomarkers of disease activity in adult and juvenile patients with dermatomyositis (DM). Moreover, magnetic resonance imaging has become an important modality for the assessment of muscle inflammation in adult IIM and juvenile DM. Immune-mediated necrotizing myopathies also are being recognized as a subset of IIM triggered by medications such as statins. However, confusion exists regarding effective management strategies for patients with IIM because of the lack of large-scale, randomized, controlled studies. This review focuses primarily on our current management and treatment algorithms for IIM including the care of pediatric patients with juvenile DM. For this review, we conducted a search of PubMed and MEDLINE for articles published from January 1, 1970, to December 1, 2011, using the following search terms: idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, juvenile dermatomyositis, sporadic inclusion body myositis, inclusion body myositis, inflammatory myositis, myositis, myopathies, pathogenesis, therapy, and treatment. Studies published in English were selected for inclusion in our review as well as additional articles identified from bibliographies.
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