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Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia and Other Infections in Idiopathic Inflammatory Myositis

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Purpose of Review

The management of patients with idiopathic inflammatory myositis (IIM) can be complex and challenging due to the myriad of complications they can experience. The continued use of corticosteroids, in addition to the rise of combination immunosuppressive therapy, has contributed to the ongoing concern for infection. Perhaps the most feared infection in IIM patients is Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) given its infrequent occurrence yet high mortality. The field has been, and continues to be, without evidence-based guidelines to help clinicians determine which patients with IIM to prescribe prophylaxis. Herein, we review this literature to provide the clinician with an up-to-date view of infections in IIM.

Recent Findings

In the past 5 years, a number of studies have been reported highlighting various infectious complications, which help us better understand their frequency and associated risk factors. In addition, data has been published on the potential harms of PJP prophylaxis, to better inform the risk/benefit of our decision-making.


Infection remains a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in IIM. A better understanding of which patient subgroups are at risk for particular infections will inform optimal management strategies.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Sonye K. Danoff.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Inflammatory Muscle Disease

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Mecoli, C.A., Danoff, S.K. Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia and Other Infections in Idiopathic Inflammatory Myositis. Curr Rheumatol Rep 22, 7 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11926-020-0883-0

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  • Inflammatory myositis
  • Antisynthetase syndrome
  • Immunosuppression
  • Infection
  • Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia