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Challenges in the diagnosis and management of immune-mediated necrotising myopathy (IMNM) in a patient on long-term statins.

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Peer-reviewed

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Abstract

Immune-mediated necrotising myopathy (IMNM) is a severe and poorly understood complication of statin use. Prompt management with immunosuppressive treatment is often needed to control the condition, which differs from the management of the more commonly recognised statin-induced myopathy. We present a case report and brief review of the literature regarding the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of anti-3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) positive IMNM (HMGCR IMNM). There are no randomised clinical trials, but several smaller studies and cases suggest a triple therapy of corticosteroids, IVIG, and a corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressant appears efficacious in patients with IMNM and proximal weakness. The mechanism of statin-induced IMNM is uncertain, and this is further complicated by the reports of HMGCR IMNM in statin-naïve patients, including children. We present a case of biopsy-confirmed HMGCR IMNM in a woman taking daily statins for treatment of hypercholesterolaemia for 4 years. She presented with symptoms consistent with a urinary tract infection (UTI), including muscle weakness. She was treated as an isolated case of UTI. One month later, she presented again with worsening weakness in her shoulders and hips. Creatine kinase was elevated, and MRI showed increased signal with STIR sequences in both thighs. Anti-HMGCR was positive and leg biopsy-confirmed necrotising changes. Stopping her statin prescription and a short course of prednisolone did not improve her muscle weakness. Adding methotrexate resulted in eventual resolution of her symptoms. IMNM should be considered as a differential in any patient taking statins presenting with muscle weakness, and this case suggests that immunosuppressant therapy in addition to cessation of statins is effective at treating IMNM. Clinical trials are needed to further investigate the efficacy of different combinations of immunosuppressants.

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Keywords

Creatine kinase, Immunoglobulin intravenous, Immunosuppressive agents, Methotrexate, Muscle weakness, Prednisolone, Humans, Child, Female, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Autoantibodies, Necrosis, Myositis, Autoimmune Diseases, Muscular Diseases, Muscle Weakness, Immunosuppressive Agents

Journal Title

Rheumatol Int

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0172-8172
1437-160X

Volume Title

43

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC