Myositis (inflammatory myopathies)

What is Myositis?

Myositis (inflammatory myopathies) is group of disorders that cause inflammation and damage resulting in muscle weakness. There are multiple types of myositis (inflammatory myopathy), which require different diagnoses and treatments.


  • Weakness in the large muscles around the neck, shoulders and hips
  • Trouble climbing stairs, getting up from a seat or reaching overhead
  • Skin rashes
  • Choking while eating or food accidentally entering your lungs
  • Shortness of breath and coughing

Risk factors

  • Toxins
  • Infections
  • Family history
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer

Diagnosing myositis

  • Complete medical history and physical exam
  • Laboratory testing
  • Nerve conduction study known as EMG
  • Muscle biopsy
  • Lung imaging (CT) and breathing tests in some cases

Treating myositis

  • Medications: Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, intravenous immune globulin (IVIG), cyclophosphamide and rituximab
  • Physical therapy also plays an important role in regaining muscle strength and function


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