Symptoms and signs of Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathies

Reading time: 2 min

The symptoms and signs found in most muscle diseases are:

Person with muscular weakness in arms and no energy

Weakness or loss of strength, which is almost always proximal, in other words, affecting the muscles closest to the central part of the body, except in the case of IBM where the flexor muscles of the fingers and quadriceps are typically affected. Proximal strength loss is apparent in the arms (shoulder girdle), evidenced by difficulty in raising them above the head, and in the legs (pelvic girdle), causing difficulties when getting up from a low chair or the toilet. Normally, no pain is associated with this muscle weakness.

Person with skin lesions around the eyes

Skin lesions. Dermatomyositis is characterised by typical skin lesions which may appear prior to, during or after muscular weakness. The characteristic skin lesions are heliotrope rash (purplish in colour around the eyes); erythematous rash on the face, knees, elbows, neck, chest ("V" sign), back and shoulders; Gottron papules (above the knuckles on the hands) and "mechanic's hands" (like those of a construction worker who does not wear gloves). More rare are subcutaneous calcifications that sometimes produce painful ulcers. Ulcers on the fingers and palms are often seen in forms of myositis that are associated with the anti-MDA-5 antibody.

Inflammation of the lungs

Lung involvement. IIM can affect the lungs in various ways. The most common is undoubtedly interstitial lung disease (ILD), where the lung tissues become inflamed and damaged. More rarely, it can also affect the intestines and heart. Finally, weakness of the respiratory muscles can lead to respiratory failure. This is sometimes the way the disease presents.

The signs and symptoms that should alert you to the potential severity of the disease are:

Información general de Muscular diseases or Myopathies

Consulta toda la información relacionada con Muscular diseases or Myopathies

Read more

Substantiated information by:

Josep M. Grau Junyent
Sergio Prieto González

Published: 25 November 2020
Updated: 25 November 2020

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


Receive the latest updates related to this content.

Thank you for subscribing!

If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox

An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.