The diagnosis of dermatomyositis can be confirmed by muscle biopsy, EMG,and blood tests. It should be noted, however, that only muscle biopsy is truly diagnostic (pathognomic); liver enzymes and EMG are relatively non-specific. Liver enzymes, specificly creatine phosphokinase (CPK), are the major tool in assessing the progress of the disease and/or the efficacy of treatment. On the muscle biopsy, there are two classic microscopic findings of dermatomyositis. They are:
- A mixed B- and T-cell perivascular inflammatory infiltrate
- Perifascicular muscle fiber atrophy
Dermatomyositis is associated with autoantibodies, especially anti-Jo1 antibody.
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