We sought to determine the prevalence of additional connective tissue diseases (CTDs) in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM), and to study the muscle biopsy patterns in various clinico-serologic subsets of myositis. We undertook a retrospective cohort study of 648 patients with a histological diagnosis of IIM. The following was determined from the South Australian Myositis Database: presence of associated CTDs, histological details and presence of myositis-specific (MSA) or myositis-associated (MAA) antibodies. Among patients with IIM, a significantly greater proportion had systemic sclerosis 32/648 (4.9%) than mixed connective tissue disease (12/648, p = 0.003), primary Sjogren’s syndrome (12/648, p = 0.003), systemic lupus erythematosus (10/648, p < 0.001) or rheumatoid arthritis (6/648, p = 0.0001). Polymyositis was the most common IIM diagnosis regardless of the presence or absence of CTD. MSA/MAA was more commonly detected in those with systemic sclerosis than those with IIM alone (OR 5.35, p < 0.005). The higher prevalence of SSc (compared with other CTDs) in IIM, together with the more frequent detection of autoantibodies in this group, suggests that these conditions may be linked.
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The authors are grateful to the Department of Anatomical Pathology, SA Pathology and to all patients and physicians who have supported the South Australian Myositis Database.
No specific funding was obtained for this research.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest and no disclosures.
Human and animal rights
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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