Anti-3-hydroxy-3-méthylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase antibody-associated necrotizing autoimmune myopathy has been recently described (2011). This myopathy is distinct from statin toxic myopathy. Our objective is to report on the clinical and para-clinical characteristics of this myopathy and to show the difficulties of therapeutic care.
We describe 4 cases of patients followed-up in Brittany, France. All data have been analyzed retrospectively. The mean age of our patients was 59.5 years, with a sex ratio of 1. The clinical presentation was homogeneous, with a subacute painful proximal and symmetrical weakness, without extra-muscular involvement. Other presentations have been described (including pseudo-dystrophic presentation). All patients had a previous statin medication (mean duration of 3.75 years) although this criteria is not a requisite. All patients had high levels of creatine kinase and abnormal electromyographic examination. The pathological pattern on muscular biopsy was a necrotizing myopathy without significant inflammatory cells infiltration. Cardio-respiratory function was normal and no associated neoplasia was found. Over the follow-up, we observed a marked corticosteroid-dependence, not improved by immunosuppressive drugs (azathioprine and methotrexate). The benefit of intravenous immunoglobulin was clear with, sometimes, prolonged responses.
An early diagnosis of this myopathy is necessary in order to introduce an immunotherapy associated with a close monitoring. The therapeutic strategy (within which the stead of intravenous immunoglobulin seems increased) remains to be defined and long-term prospective studies are thus needed.