Cardiovascular involvement in myositis

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Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to provide an update on cardiovascular involvement in idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM). Studies from the past 18 months are identified and reviewed. Finally, the clinical impact of these findings is discussed.

Recent findings

Epidemiological studies have revealed an increased risk of myocardial infraction and venous thromboembolism (VTE) – including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – in adults with polymyositis or dermatomyositis compared to the general population, even after adjustment for potential confounders. This increased risk applies particularly within the initial year of diagnosis. In addition, cross-sectional studies have shown subclinical cardiac involvement in IIM effecting both heart function and rhythm, and conduction abnormalities, which in part might be because of myocarditis. The International Consensus Group on cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging suggests that CMR should be considered as a potentially viable diagnostic tool to evaluate the possibility of silent myocardial inflammation in IIM with normal routine noninvasive evaluation.


Updated literature on cardiovascular involvement in IIM has identified an increased risk for subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease in these rare inflammatory muscle diseases.

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