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Associated Variables of Myositis in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Cross-Sectional Study

Yan Liang, Rui-Xue Leng, Hai-Feng Pan, Dong-Qing Ye

(Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:2543-2549

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.902016

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to estimate the point prevalence of myositis and identify associated variables of myositis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Clinical date of patients hospitalized with lupus at the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University and Anhui Provincial Hospital were collected. Patients were defined as having myositis if they reported the presence of persistent invalidating muscular weakness combined with increased levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and abnormal electromyography (EMG).
RESULTS: The study sample comprised 1701 lupus patients, of which 44 had myositis. Patients with SLE-associated myositis are more likely to have skin rash, alopecia, pericarditis, vasculitis, anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-dsDNA, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, low C3, low C4, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), high D-dimer, and active disease. Multivariate logistic regression found positive associations between leukopenia, alopecia, and active disease with myositis. Negative associations between myositis with the use of corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs were revealed in univariate and multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The point prevalence of myositis was 2.6% in SLE patients. The significant association of alopecia, leukopenia, and active disease with myositis suggests that organ damage, hematological abnormality, and high disease activity promote the progression of myositis in lupus patients.

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