Autoimmune Conditions: Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Dermatomyositis

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Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease that is common in individuals older than 70 years. Classic symptoms of PMR include pain in the neck, pelvic girdle, and shoulders. Morning stiffness that lasts at least 30 minutes is typical. Glucocorticoids are the mainstay of PMR management, and prednisone 12.5 to 25 mg/day or equivalent is recommended. Giant cell arteritis is a comorbidity of PMR. Dermatomyositis is a rare, idiopathic inflammatory myopathy characterized by erythematous skin lesions and inflammation of skeletal muscles. Dermatomyositis manifests as proximal muscle weakness and fatigue that occurs when patients rise from a seated position, walk, climb stairs, or lift objects. It is a systemic condition and also may affect joints, the esophagus, and lungs. Prednisone is started at a dose of 60 mg/day and then tapered slowly, based on response, to prevent recurrence. Dermatomyositis may be associated with malignancy.

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