Long-Term Outcome and Prognostic Factors of Juvenile Dermatomyositis: A Multinational, Multicenter Study of 490 Patients

Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico G. Gaslini and Università degli Studi di Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
Arthritis care & research 01/2010; 62(1):63-72. DOI: 10.1002/acr.20015
Source: PubMed


To investigate the long-term outcome and prognostic factors of juvenile dermatomyositis (DM) through a multinational, multicenter study.
Patients consisted of inception cohorts seen between 1980 and 2004 in 27 centers in Europe and Latin America. Predictor variables were sex, continent, ethnicity, onset year, onset age, onset type, onset manifestations, course type, disease duration, and active disease duration. Outcomes were muscle strength/endurance, continued disease activity, cumulative damage, muscle damage, cutaneous damage, calcinosis, lipodystrophy, physical function, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
A total of 490 patients with a mean disease duration of 7.7 years were included. At the cross-sectional visit, 41.2-52.8% of patients, depending on the instrument used, had reduced muscle strength/endurance, but less than 10% had severe impairment. Persistently active disease was recorded in 41.2-60.5% of the patients, depending on the activity measure used. Sixty-nine percent of the patients had cumulative damage. The frequency of calcinosis and lipodystrophy was 23.6% and 9.7%, respectively. A total of 40.7% of the patients had decreased functional ability, but only 6.5% had major impairment. Only a small fraction had decreased HRQOL. A chronic course, either polycyclic or continuous, consistently predicted a poorer outcome. Mortality rate was 3.1%.
This study confirms the marked improvement in functional outcome of juvenile DM when compared with earlier literature. However, many patients had continued disease activity and cumulative damage at followup. A chronic course was the strongest predictor of poor prognosis. These findings highlight the need for treatment strategies that enable a better control of disease activity over time and the reduction of nonreversible damage.

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    • "Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a severe, autoimmune, inflammatory myositis that can cause death and major long-term health problems [1-3]. There are major gaps in knowledge regarding epidemiology, pathogenesis, response to medication and long-term outcome of the disease [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rare but severe autoimmune inflammatory myositis of childhood. International collaboration is essential in order to undertake clinical trials, understand the disease and improve long-term outcome. The aim of this study was to propose from existing collaborative initiatives a preliminary minimal dataset for JDM. This will form the basis of the future development of an international consensus-approved minimum core dataset to be used both in clinical care and inform research, allowing integration of data between centres. Methods A working group of internationally-representative JDM experts was formed to develop a provisional minimal dataset. Clinical and laboratory variables contained within current national and international collaborative databases of patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies were scrutinised. Judgements were informed by published literature and a more detailed analysis of the Juvenile Dermatomyositis Cohort Biomarker Study and Repository, UK and Ireland. Results A provisional minimal JDM dataset has been produced, with an associated glossary of definitions. The provisional minimal dataset will request information at time of patient diagnosis and during on-going prospective follow up. At time of patient diagnosis, information will be requested on patient demographics, diagnostic criteria and treatments given prior to diagnosis. During on-going prospective follow-up, variables will include the presence of active muscle or skin disease, major organ involvement or constitutional symptoms, investigations, treatment, physician global assessments and patient reported outcome measures. Conclusions An internationally agreed minimal dataset has the potential to significantly enhance collaboration, allow effective communication between groups, provide a minimal standard of care and enable analysis of the largest possible number of JDM patients to provide a greater understanding of this disease. This preliminary dataset can now be developed into a consensus-approved minimum core dataset and tested in a wider setting with the aim of achieving international agreement.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Pediatric Rheumatology
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    • "In children early studies described three groups: those with monocyclic (permanent remission within 2 years), polycyclic (periods of remission followed by relapse) and chronic continuous disease. Although modern treatment has improved outcomes, recent long-term outcome studies still show significant numbers of patients with ongoing disease or damage [5,6]. Inadequate or delayed treatment has been shown to be an important factor in predicting a chronic course and poor outcome, while several studies suggest that aggressive early treatment results in lower morbidity and improved outcome [7-9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Adult and juvenile dermatomyositis share the hallmark features of pathognomic skin rash and muscle inflammation, but are heterogeneous disorders with a range of additional disease features and complications. The frequency of important clinical features such as calcinosis, interstitial lung disease and malignancy varies markedly between adult and juvenile disease. These differences may reflect different disease triggers between children and adults, but whilst various viral and other environmental triggers have been implicated, results are so far conflicting. Myositis-specific autoantibodies can be detected in both adults and children with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. They are associated with specific disease phenotypes and complications, and divide patients into clinically homogenous subgroups. Interestingly, whilst the same autoantibodies are found in both adults and children, the disease features remain different within autoantibody subgroups, particularly with regard to life-threatening disease associations, such as malignancy and rapidly progressive interstitial lung disease. Our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie these differences is limited by a lack of studies directly comparing adults and children. Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune disease, which is believed to develop as a result of an environmental trigger in a genetically predisposed individual. Age-specific host immune responses and muscle physiology may be additional complicating factors that have significant impact on disease presentation. Further study into this area may produce new insights into disease pathogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Arthritis research & therapy
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    • "Prior to the 1950’s when daily corticosteroids started to be used consistently, 1/3 of JDM children recovered, 1/3 of JDM children were disabled, and 1/3 died [3]. Now after earlier diagnosis and aggressive treatment with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs, JDM patients do much better with much less morbidity and mortality (<1% mortality) [4-12]. Prognostic factors are still lacking that might direct pediatric rheumatologists to the best treatment approach for each child as the experiences vary with different patient populations and research centers [9-12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background We tested the hypothesis that the course and outcome of juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) in children seen at one center with the JDM disease onset at or below three years of age is different from that in the children with disease onset at greater than three years of age. Methods Institutional Review Board approval was obtained to retrospectively review the charts of 78 patients from age 0–18 years with JDM seen in the pediatric rheumatology clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio over the past 23 years from January 1988. The diagnosis was made by the treating pediatric rheumatologist. Not all the patients met the Bohan and Peter criteria, as muscle biopsy and EMG were not always performed and we utilized a modified JDM criteria. The data regarding disease course and outcome were collected as of the last clinic follow-up or to July 1, 2010. We used the Wilcoxon Two-Sample test to compare numerical variables between two age groups, and used logistic regression to compare categorical variables between two age groups in SAS 9.1.3. Minitab-16 was used to calculate various mean, median, modes, standard deviations and range. For survival analysis, we used Kaplan-Meier method with log-rank test. Results The mean age of onset in the two groups at Nationwide Children’s Hospital was 27 months and 91 months. The mean times between onset of symptoms to diagnosis in the younger and older age groups was 5.6 months and 4.5 months, respectively, not a statistically significant difference. The younger onset group had more females (p=0.05) and their disease onset occurred less frequently during the typical winter-spring seasons (p=0.031). The younger onset group was more likely to have a preceding fever (p=0.029) and family history of autoimmune diseases (p=0.012). The younger onset group was less likely to have heliotrope rash (p=0.04), Gottron’s sign (p=0.049), capillary loop abnormalities (p=0.010), or elevations in creatine kinase (CK, p=0.022), aspartate aminotransferase (AST, p=0.021) or aldolase (p=0.035). The younger onset group was treated less often with pulse methylprednisolone at diagnosis (p=0.043) and less often with hydroxychloroquine (p=0.035). There were no differences between the two groups regarding initial oral steroid dose (p=0.8017), number of patients who received methotrexate at diagnosis (p=0.709), and the number who ever received other immunosuppressants (p=0.323). The mean and maximum duration (mean duration 24.3 months vs. 35.2 months, maximum duration 51 vs. 124 months in younger and older onset group respectively) of methotrexate therapy, and the mean and maximum duration of oral steroid therapy (Mean duration 16.8 months vs. 33.3 months, maximum duration 50 vs. 151 months in younger and older onset group respectively), was shorter in the younger group. The younger onset patients were less likely to have active disease at 5 years (9% vs. 35.7%, p=0.015) and 10 years post-diagnosis (9% vs. 45.1%, p=0.011, Table 7). The younger patients were less likely to have osteonecrosis (p=0.023). Two disease-related deaths occurred in the younger group, none in the older group. The results of the survival analysis showed that the difference between the age groups was statistically significant (p < 0.012). The sex and race were not significant (p> 0.26 and p>0.95, respectively). Conclusions There were significant differences between JDM patients with disease onset at or below age three years at our center, compared to their older counterparts. Younger patients in our cohort had fewer typical findings at diagnosis and a milder disease course without needing as long a duration of corticosteroids and immunosuppression. Patients with a younger onset had a higher mortality rate but mortalities were unusual and numbers small. The younger group had a similar complication rate compared to the older onset patients, except for osteonecrosis which was higher in the older onset group. These findings differ from the previous reports that a younger age of onset in JDM is often associated with a more severe disease, as results at our center suggest that children with younger onset JDM appear to be atypical but may do well compared to the older JDM patients.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Pediatric Rheumatology
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