Efficacy and Limitations of Pulse Cyclophosphamide Therapy in Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis


To assess the therapeutic response of intravenous (IV) pulse cyclophosphamide therapy in polymyositis and dermatomyositis.


Data of 9 patients (M:F = 2:7) who received IV pulse cyclophosphamide therapy were retrospectively analyzed.


The mean symptom duration was 11.33 ± 10.6 months (range, 2–34 months). The cohort comprised (1) primary idiopathic polymyositis (n = 1), (2) primary idiopathic dermatomyositis (n = 1), (3) childhood type associated with vasculitis (n = 1), and (4) associated with collagen vascular disease (n = 6). All patients improved and became clinically asymptomatic after a mean period of 12.33 ± 6.5 months (range, 4–24 months); 5 remained asymptomatic at the end of a median follow-up period of 22 months. All patients received concomitant steroid therapy, and in 6, steroids could be tapered after the initiation of IV pulse cyclophosphamide therapy.


In this cohort of polymyositis/dermatomyositis, treatment with IV pulse cyclophosphamide was associated with improvement; the therapeutic response was sustained in majority of the patients.


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