Rheumatology International

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1125–1130 | Cite as

Successful treatment of antisynthetase syndrome presenting as rhabdomyolysis with rituximab

  • Marwa Mohammed Sabha
  • Hermann Talom Simo
  • Rana Mohammed Shadid
  • Nezam Ibrahim Altorok
Case Based Review


Rhabdomyolysis is a syndrome of muscle necrosis with subsequent release of intracellular content into the blood. There are various causes for rhabdomyolysis that include trauma, medications and rarely autoimmune conditions such as autoimmune myositis. Antisynthetase syndrome is an autoimmune condition characterized by positive antisynthetase antibody, myopathy, lung disease and arthritis. To our knowledge, rhabdomyolysis in antisynthetase syndrome has not been reported in the literature. In this report, we present a patient who presented with features of rhabdomyolysis and was diagnosed with antisynthetase syndrome. This patient was treated with systemic steroids with partial improvement, followed by rituximab, which led to significant improvement in his condition. In addition, we summarize all cases reported in the literature of inflammatory myopathy-associated rhabdomyolysis.


Antisynthetase syndrome Rhabdomyolysis Rituximab 



We would like to thank Dr. William Gunning for obtaining the electron microscopy images of the muscle biopsy.

Author contributions

MS reviewed literature and contributed to writing, HS contributed to writing and reviewing; RS obtained pathologic specimen images and contributed to writing, NA supervised work and reviewed manuscript.


No funding received for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this report were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Toledo institutional review board and the national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

For publication of this case report, we obtained informed consent from the subject described in this report.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of internal medicineUniversity of Toledo Medical CenterToledoUSA
  2. 2.Department of pathologyUniversity of Toledo Medical CenterToledoUSA
  3. 3.Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Toledo Medical CenterToledoUSA

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