Adults with dermatomyositis may experience weight loss or a low-grade fever, have inflamed lungs, and be sensitive to light. Children and adults with dermatomyositis may develop calcium deposits, which appear as hard bumps under the skin or in the muscle (called calcinosis). Calcinosis most often occurs 1-3 years after the disease begins. These deposits are seen more often in children with dermatomyositis than in adults. In some cases of dermatomyositis, distal muscles (muscles located away from the trunk of the body, such as those in the forearms and around the ankles and wrists) may be affected as the disease progresses. Dermatomyositis may be associated with collagen-vascular or autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. 
The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) provides the following list of features that have been reported in people with this condition. Much of the information in the HPO comes from Orphanet, a European rare disease database. If available, the list includes a rough estimate of how common a feature is (its frequency). Frequencies are based on a specific study and may not be representative of all studies. You can use the MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary for definitions of the terms below.
|Signs and Symptoms||Approximate number of patients (when available)|
|Abnormality of the eye||90%|
|Abnormal hair quantity||50%|
|Abnormality of the nail||50%|
|Recurrent respiratory infections||50%|
|Restrictive ventilatory defect||50%|
|Abnormality of eosinophils||7.5%|
|Abnormality of temperature regulation||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the myocardium||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the pericardium||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the voice||7.5%|
|Aplasia/Hypoplasia of the skin||7.5%|
|Coronary artery disease||7.5%|
|Feeding difficulties in infancy||7.5%|
|Gastrointestinal stroma tumor||7.5%|
|Neoplasm of the breast||7.5%|
|Neoplasm of the lung||7.5%|
|Neurological speech impairment||7.5%|
|Telangiectasia of the skin||7.5%|
Research helps us better understand diseases and can lead to advances in diagnosis and treatment. This section provides resources to help you learn about medical research and ways to get involved.
Nonprofit support and advocacy groups bring together patients, families, medical professionals, and researchers. These groups often raise awareness, provide support, and develop patient-centered information. Many are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct people to research, resources, and services. Many groups also have experts who serve as medical advisors. Visit their website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD. Suggest an organization to add.
Living with a genetic or rare disease can impact the daily lives of patients and families. These resources can help families navigate various aspects of living with a rare disease.
These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.
International Consensus Conference to Develop Improvement Criteria for Juvenile Dermatomyositis and Adult Dermatomyositis and Polymyositis: Workshop to Define Minimal Clinical Improvement and Major Clinical Response
Monday, June 9, 2014 -
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Location: Hotel Novotel La Defense, Paris, France
Description: Anticipated goals and use of results: We anticipate developing composite endpoints for future clinical trials that will be fully validated, endorsed by the ACR and EULAR, and used by all forthcoming myositis clinical trials and clinical studies as clinical endpoints. A likely secondary outcome of this work would be the stimulus to develop new therapies for myositis and conduct clinical trials of new therapeutic agents in myositis patients, given adequate ways to assess efficacy of new therapies in trials.
Contact: Dr. Sheila Newton(919) 541-4343
Co-funding Institute(s): National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Office of Rare Diseases Research
Workshop on Inflammatory Myopathy Wednesday, April 5, 2000 -
Thursday, April 6, 2000
Location: NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
Description: The goal of this workshop was to provide a forum for researchers in the areas of myositis, muscle biology, and immunology to review the current status of research on inflammatory myopathies and explore potential new avenues of research.
Contact: Dr. Paul Plotz(301) 496-1474
Co-funding Institute(s): National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Questions sent to GARD may be posted here if the information could be helpful to others. We remove all identifying information when posting a question to protect your privacy. If you do not want your question posted, please let us know. Submit a new question
My father was diagnosed with dermatomyositis and has some long-lasting symptoms. Is it possible that radiation exposure could be contributing to his condition? See answer
My mother has been diagnosed with dermatomyositis. She has not responded to the treatments she has received. Can you provide information about the symptoms, treatment, and prognosis for this condition? See answer