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ISRN Rheumatology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 509354, 7 pages
Review Article

Clinical Features of Inflammatory Myopathies and Their Association with Malignancy: A Systematic Review in Asian Population

1Department of Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Cooperstown, NY 13326, USA
2Department of Internal Medicine, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok 10440, Thailand
3Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Received 3 January 2013; Accepted 27 January 2013

Academic Editors: J. Bruges Armas, C. Chizzolini, and A. Wong

Copyright © 2013 Patompong Ungprasert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs) are a group of chronic systemic autoimmune diseases that mainly affect the skeletal muscle. The common subtypes include adult dermatomyositis (DM), polymyositis (PM), and inclusion body myositis (IBM). Most of the earlier studies that described the clinical characteristics of IIM as well as their association with cancer were conducted in Western population. Our study is the first systematic review that summarizes the clinical data of DM/PM in Asian population. Methods. We identified 14 case series of DM/PM that met our eligibility criteria. We then compared this data with that from previous reports from Europe and North America. Results. Our systematic review included 2518 patients. Dermatomyositis is more common, with the ratio of dermatomyositis to polymyositis being 1.36 : 1. 69% of them were females with mean age of 45.5 years. Extramuscular manifestations, including arthritis/arthralgia, dysphagia, and interstitial lung disease, are found in one-third of the patients. Malignancy was found in 10% of patients, with lung and nasopharyngeal carcinomas being the most common malignancies associated with these myopathies. Conclusion. Clinical presentation of PM/DM appears to be similar in both Western and Asian populations. However, the type of associated malignancies in Asians differs from that in Caucasians. Ethnic background should be one of the factors that clinicians should consider while screening for malignancy.