Opportunistic infections in polymyositis and dermatomyositis

Arthritis and Rheumatism
Isabelle MariePierre-Yves Hatron

Abstract

To assess prevalence and characteristics of opportunistic infections in patients with polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM). To determine the predictive values for opportunistic infections on clinical presentation, biochemical findings, and paraclinical features of PM/DM to detect patients at risk of opportunistic infections. The medical records of 156 consecutive PM/DM patients in 3 medical centers were reviewed. Eighteen PM/DM patients (11.5%) developed opportunistic infections. The majority of patients exhibited an opportunistic infection after the onset of PM/DM (89% of cases). Opportunistic infections occurred most frequently during the first year following PM/DM diagnosis (62.5%). The pathogen microorganisms responsible for opportunistic infections were various, i.e., Candida albicans, Pneumocystis carinii, Aspergillus fumigatus, Geotrichum capitatum, Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex, M. xenopi, M. marinum, M. tuberculosis, Helicobacter heilmanii, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus. Mortality rates were as high as 27.7% in these PM/DM patients. Higher mean daily doses of steroids, lymphopenia, and lower serum total protein levels were significantly more frequent in the group of PM/DM patients with opportun...Continue Reading

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