November 1984

ECG Abnormalities in Polymyositis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Stern and Kagen), Public Health (Dr Godbold), and Pathology (Dr Chess), The Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Hospital—Cornell Medical Center, New York.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(11):2185-2189. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.04400020097015

• Electrocardiographic abnormalities were found in 25 32.5%) of 77 patients with polymyositis. Left anterior hemiblock (13.0%) and right bundle-branch block (9.1%) were the most common abnormalities. No association could be found between these defects and clinical activity of polymyositis, severity of duration of disease, or degree of creatine kinase level elevation. Similarly, there was no association with age or the presence of certain clinical conditions such as rash or arthritis. In only two patients, both children, did an ECG abnormality improve with corticosteroid therapy. Three patients with heart block died suddenly. This study points up the need for continual close observation of patients with inflammatory muscle disease, even after apparent remission.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:2185-2189)