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April 1974

Childhood Polymyositis: A Follow-Up Study With Special Reference to Treatment With Corticosteroids

Author Affiliations

Bronx, NY
From the Regional Neurological Center, Newcastle General Hospital, and the Department of Child Health, University of Newcastle on Tyne, Newcastle, England. Dr. Rose is now with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(4):518-522. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110230064009

The cases of 16 patients with childhood polymyositis or dermatomyositis have been followed up for 6 to 16 years. The cases of 10 patients, who were initially treated with corticosteroids in high dosage and maintained with a low dosage for an average of 2.5 years, were followed up for a mean period of 8.3 years. The seven patients who were treated within one to six months after onset of symptoms had a short period of severe disability; six made an excellent recovery, and one died from common iliac artery thrombosis. Three patients treated 17 to 36 months after onset of symptoms made a less complete, but functionally satisfactory recovery. Six patients were not treated with steroids and were followed up for 13 years. They had a much longer period of severe disability but they also made a good recovery eventually. The incidence of calcinosis was 50% in both the treated and untreated patients.

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