Specialists in Duke’s nationally ranked rheumatology center diagnose and manage treatment of myositis, a group of diseases characterized by muscle inflammation. Our experienced rheumatologists collaborate with other Duke specialists to relieve the muscle weakness and fatigue associated with myositis and help you return to an active lifestyle.
Myositis is caused by inflammation in the muscles. It includes polymyositis, which primarily causes muscle weakness, and dermatomyositis, which involves both skin rashes and muscle weakness.
Inclusion-body myositis is characterized by gradual muscle weakness throughout the body, while polymyositis primarily involves weakness in the muscles in the body’s middle section.
Inflammatory myositis may be linked to other autoimmune conditions -- including lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis -- and may cause complications such as difficulty breathing or swallowing. As a result, we take a comprehensive approach to treatment that draws upon the experience of specialists throughout Duke. Our goal is to provide you the best care for your individual needs.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
If you have muscle weakness or other symptoms that may indicate myositis, our experienced doctors will carefully review your medical history and perform a complete physical exam to make a definitive diagnosis. Your evaluation may include:
Your doctor may order blood tests that measure elevated levels of muscle enzymes and rheumatoid factors such as antibodies and proteins.
A small metal needle inserted through the skin and into the muscles records impulses or electrical activity that pinpoint damage or weakness.
MRI images can show signs of muscle damage.
The doctor removes a small sample of muscle tissue to be examined under a microscope for signs of myositis.
The doctor removes a small sample of skin tissue to be examined under a microscope to help diagnose dermatomyositis.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital’s rheumatology program is ranked among the very best in the U.S., and best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.
Experienced Myositis Care
A Team Approach to Care
Because myositis can be associated with other conditions, you may work with a team of experts including rheumatologists, pulmonologists, and neurologists. They work together to develop an effective treatment plan for you and help you manage your condition.
A Commitment to Myositis Research
Our doctors are engaged in research to better understand the causes of myositis and to find treatments that will deliver the best results. This ensures you receive the most effective treatments available.