Does dermatomyositis sine dermatitis exist, and if yes, what are the serologic features of patients with dermatomyositis sine dermatitis?
In this cohort study of 182 patients with dermatomyositis who were positive for dermatomyositis-specific autoantibodies and myxovirus resistance protein A expression in myofibers, 14 (8%) had dermatomyositis sine dermatitis. Anti–nuclear matrix protein 2 autoantibodies were significantly associated with dermatomyositis sine dermatitis.
Dermatomyositis sine dermatitis does exist and is significantly associated with anti–nuclear matrix protein 2 autoantibodies.
Reports on dermatomyositis (DM) sine dermatitis (DMSD) are scarce, and the concept of the disease has not been widely accepted.
To confirm the existence of DMSD, determine its prevalence, and characterize its serologic features.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This is a cohort study that reviewed clinical information, laboratory data, and muscle pathology slides from January 2009 to August 2019. We further assessed the follow-up data of 14 patients with DMSD. The median (interquartile range) follow-up period was 34 (16-64) months.Muscle biopsy samples, along with clinical information and laboratory data, were sent to a referral center for muscle diseases in Japan for diagnosis.Of patients whose myopathologic diagnosis was made at the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry between January 2009 and August 2019, 199 patients were eligible for inclusion. These patients underwent full investigation for DM-specific autoantibodies (against transcriptional intermediary factor γ, Mi-2, melanoma differentiation–associated gene 5, nuclear matrix protein 2 [NXP-2], and small ubiquitin-like modifier activating enzyme ); however, 17 patients were excluded because their muscle fibers did not express myxovirus resistance protein A, a sensitive and specific marker of DM muscle pathology.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Diagnosis of DMSD was based on the absence of a skin rash at the time of muscle biopsy.
Of the 182 patients, 93 were women (51%) and 46 were children (25%) (<18 years). Fourteen patients (8%) had DMSD and none were clinically diagnosed with DM. Among the 14 patients with DMSD, 12 (86%) were positive for anti-NXP-2 autoantibodies, while the remaining 2 were positive for anti–transcriptional intermediary factor γ and anti-Mi-2 autoantibodies, respectively. Only 28% of patients (47 of 168) with a skin rash were positive for anti-NXP-2 autoantibodies, indicating a significant association between anti-NXP-2 autoantibodies and DMSD (86% [12 of 14] vs 28% [47 of 168]; P < .001). This association was also supported by multivariable models adjusted for disease duration (odds ratio, 126.47; 95% CI, 11.42-1400.64; P < .001).
Conclusions and Relevance
Dermatomyositis sine dermatitis does exist and accounts for 8% of patients with DM confirmed with muscle biopsy. Dermatomyositis sine dermatitis is significantly associated with anti-NXP-2 autoantibodies, which contrasts with anti-MDA5 DM, which is typically clinically amyopathic in presentation. It is essential to distinguish DMSD from other types of myositis because DM-specific therapies that are currently under development, including Janus kinase inhibitors, may be effective for DMSD.
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Inoue M, Tanboon J, Hirakawa S, et al. Association of Dermatomyositis Sine Dermatitis With Anti–Nuclear Matrix Protein 2 Autoantibodies. JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(7):872–877. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.0673
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