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OBJECTIVE: Cardiac events are a major cause of death in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. The study objective was in a controlled setting to describe cardiac abnormalities by noninvasive methods in a cohort of patients with polymyositis (PM) or dermatomyositis (DM) and to identify predictors for cardiac dysfunction. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, 76 patients with PM/DM and 48 matched healthy controls (HCs) were assessed by serum levels of cardiac troponin I, electrocardiography, Holter monitoring, echocardiography with tissue Doppler imaging, and quantitative cardiac (99m) Tc-pyrophosphate ((99m) Tc-PYP) scintigraphy. RESULTS: Compared to HCs, patients with PM/DM more frequently had left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) (12% versus 0%; P = 0.02) and longer QRS and QT intervals (P = 0.007 and P < 0.0001, respectively). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with LVDD were age (P = 0.001), disease duration (P = 0.004), presence of myositis-specific or -associated autoantibodies (P = 0.05), and high cardiac (99m) Tc-PYP uptake (P = 0.006). In multivariate analysis of the pooled data for patients and HCs, a diagnosis of PM/DM (P < 0.0001) was associated with LVDD. CONCLUSION: Patients with PM or DM had an increased prevalence of cardiac abnormalities compared to HCs. LVDD was a common occurrence in PM/DM patients and correlated to disease duration. In addition, the association of LVDD with myositis-specific or -associated autoantibodies and high cardiac (99m) Tc-PYP uptake supports the notion of underlying autoimmunity and myocardial inflammation in patients with PM/DM.

Original publication




Journal article


Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken)

Publication Date





1012 - 1020


Adult, Aged, Biomarkers, Cross-Sectional Studies, Dermatomyositis, Echocardiography, Doppler, Electrocardiography, Female, Heart Diseases, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Perfusion Imaging, Polymyositis, Prevalence, Troponin I