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Polymyositis without Beneficial Response to Steroid Therapy: Should Miyoshi Myopathy be a Differential Diagnosis?

Renata Siciliani Scalco, Paulo José Lorenzoni, David S. Lynch, William Alves Martins, Heinz Jungbluth, Ros Quinlivan, Jefferson Becker, Henry Houlden

(MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases and Division of Molecular Neuroscience, University College London (UCL) Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom)

Am J Case Rep 2017; 18:17-21

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.900970


BACKGROUND: Miyoshi myopathy (MM) is an autosomal-recessive muscle disorder caused by mutations in the DYSF gene. Clinical features and histopathological changes in dysferlinopathies may mimic inflammatory myopathies and a high degree of clinical suspicion is required to guide the genetic investigation.
CASE REPORT: We report the case of a 16-year-old male who presented with severe bilateral calf pain and elevated CK levels (15 000 IU/l) who was on prolonged steroid therapy prompted by the clinical suspicion of inflammatory myopathy. Three years into his illness, he was referred for neuromuscular evaluation presenting with untreatable muscle pain and progressive weakness. The diagnosis of “refractory polymyositis” was revisited. Targeted exome sequencing revealed homozygous pathogenic mutations in the DYSF gene, confirming a diagnosis of Miyoshi myopathy.
CONCLUSIONS: Our case illustrates that severe muscle pain may be the initial feature of Miyoshi myopathy and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of inflammatory myopathies. Although the described patient reported partial clinical improvement in muscle pain, steroid treatment is not an effective therapy for dysferlinopathy patients and it did not prevent disease progression. In addition, we confirm the utility of next-generation sequencing approaches to myopathies, particularly in complex or unusual cases when muscle biopsy is not available.

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