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Importance of dysphagia examination in patient with dermatomyositis: Case report

DOI: 10.2298/mpns1210432r

Keywords: Deglutition Disorders , Dermatomyositis , Female , Adult , Diagnosis , Radiography , Esophagoscopy , Manometry + methods , Esophageal Motility Disorders

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Abstract:

Introduction. Polymiositis belongs to the group of inflammatory myopathies which are manifested by muscle weakness of the shoulder blade and pelvic region. The presence of typical skin manifestations is suggestive of dermatomyositis. These patients may also develop dysphagia (10-54%) as a result of involvement of the oropharyngeal and upper oesophageal striated muscles. Dermatomyositis may also be associated with another systemic disease or malignancy. Case Report. Hereby is presented the case of a 42-year-old female patient hospitalized at the Department of Allergy and Immunology, Clinical Center of Serbia for the shoulder blade and pelvic muscle weakness and pains in the small and large joints, eyelid edema, facial and neckline redness, difficult swallowing and loss of body mass. Based on the presence of proximal muscle weakness, increased enzyme serum levels (lactic acid dehydrogenase, glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase), positive electroneuromyography findings, typical skin changes and positive muscle biopsy, the patient was diagnosed to have dermatomyositis. Both radioscopy and esophagography revealed some disturbances in all phases of swallowing, absence of all primary and secondary peristaltic waves accompanied by contrast medium aspiration. Additionally, esophageal manometry proved the absence of esophageal peristalsis. Additional examinations ruled out the presence of any malignancies. The patient underwent glycocorticoid and azatioprim treatment along with specific dietary regimen, symptomatic and physical therapy, which led to favorable clinical outcome. Conclusion. Dermatomyositis-associated dysphagia may lead to severe complications such as cachexia and aspiration pneumonia. In addition to the management of underlying disease, the treatment includes special dietary regimen, rehabilitation and even interventional surgical procedures, if necessary.

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