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Clinical characteristics and favorable long-term outcomes for patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies: a retrospective single center study in China

Xiao Ming Shu, Xin Lu, Yao Xie and Guo Chun Wang*

Author Affiliations

Department of Rheumatology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, the Ministry of Health, Ying Hua East Road, Chao Yang District, 100029, Beijing, China

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BMC Neurology 2011, 11:143  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-143

Published: 9 November 2011



Little is known about the clinical features and true survival risk factors in Chinese Han population. We conducted the current study to investigate the clinical features, long-term outcome and true potential indicators associated with mortality of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) in China.


We restrospectvely investigated 188 patients diagnosed with IIM at our hospital from January 1986 to April 2009. The primary outcome was determined with mortality. The secondary outcomes for survival patients were organ damage and disease activity, health status, and disability, which were assessed with Myositis Damage Index, Myositis Disease Activity Assessment Visual Analogue Scales, Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index, and the Modified Rankin Scale, respectively. Potential prognostic factors for mortality were analyzed with the multivariate Cox regression model.


Mean age at disease onset was 43.8 ± 15.8 years and male to female ratio was 1:2.1 in this cohort. The 1-, 5-, 10-, 15- and 20-year survival rates were 93.6%, 88.7%, 81%, 73.6% and 65.6%. The independent predicators for mortality were age at disease onset [hazard ratio (HR):1.05, 95% CI 1.02 - 1.08], presence of cancer (HR:3.68, 95%CI 1.39 - 9.74), and elevated IgA level at diagnosis (HR:2.80, 95% CI 1.16-6.74). At the end of the follow-up, 29 patients manifested drug withdrawal within an average 4.1 years (range 0.5-15.2 year), most patients (85.9%) had no disease activity and 130 patients (83.4%) had no disability.


The long-term outcomes of IIM patients in our cohort have improved dramatically. Those patients most likely to survive had a high chance of reaching stable disease status, and obtained long-term or possibly permanent remission to a large extent.