• Vol. 39 No. 11, 843–847
  • 15 November 2010

An 11-year Review of Dermatomyositis in Asian Patients

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Dermatomyositis (DM) is a multisystem inflammatory disease with a strong association with malignancy. We aimed to describe a series of Asian patients with DM and identify any significant clinical factors associated with malignancy.

Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective review of a multi-racial cohort of 69 Asian patients diagnosed with DM over an 11-year period from 1996 to 2006.

Results: Malignancy was detected in 15 out of 68 patients (22%), the most common of which was nasopharyngeal carcinoma (7 cases). Compared to the non-malignancy group, the malignancy-associated group was older and had more male patients. There were no statistically significant clinical, serological or laboratory factors associated with a higher risk of malignancy.

Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of ongoing malignancy screening especially for nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Asian patients with DM.


Dermatomyositis (DM) is an acquired multisystem inflammatory disease with prominent, characteristic cutaneous manifestations and proximal muscle myopathy. A clinically distinct amyopathic variant with typical skin signs but no muscle disease had been described as well.

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