Polymyositis as a manifestation of chronic graft-versus-host disease.
OBJECTIVE: Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has similarities to some idiopathic autoimmune diseases, including polymyositis. To investigate the relationship between chronic GVHD and idiopathic myositis we conducted a detailed analysis of all cases of myositis occurring in a large series of HSCT patients. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all cases of myositis that developed in 7161 patients who underwent HSCT at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center between 1969 and 1999. RESULTS: Among 1859 individuals who developed chronic GVHD, 12 developed myositis. No patients developed myositis without chronic GVHD. Myositis was first identified between 7 and 55 months after transplantation. In histopathology, electromyography, laboratory values and response to immunosuppressive therapy, the cases resembled idiopathic polymyositis. Autoantibodies were found in eight cases. CONCLUSIONS: Myositis in the chronic GVHD population occurred with an incidence higher than expected by chance, suggesting that muscle may be a target tissue for chronic GVHD. Recent studies have implicated allogeneic cells persisting after maternal-fetal cell transfer in selected autoimmune diseases, including myositis. This report lends support to the possibility that both idiopathic myositis and chronic GVHD-related myositis could involve allo-autoimmune responses.
Stevens, AM; Sullivan, KM; Nelson, JL
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