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February 1957

Dermatomyositis and the Incidence of Associated Malignancy

Author Affiliations

Stamford, Conn.; Brooklyn

From the Department of Medicine (Dermatology), New York Hospital and Cornell University Medical College.

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;75(2):224-227. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550140068010

Dermatomyositis is an unusual disease, classified among the collagen diseases, which combine inflammatory and degenerative changes in the skin and muscle. It may be fatal.

The onset is usually fairly acute, with an erythema described as "heliotrope" in color, and edema which is often brawny, of the face—particularly of the eyelids—and muscular weakness, prostrating usually though by no means always. The edema and erythema may involve the extensor aspects of the extremities, and later progresses to a mottled scaling with firmness in the texture of the skin and atrophy. There is an erythema of the hands occasionally, especially in children, which may be difficult to differentiate from that seen in lupus erythematosus of the disseminate type.

Weakness of the muscles may be so great that the patient may have difficulty in swallowing or talking, and there may even be regurgitation of fluids through the