Anti-HMGCR myopathy overlaps with dermatomyositis-like rash: a distinct subtype of idiopathic inflammatory myopathy.

To characterize the clinical and pathological features of anti-HMGCR myopathy.The presence of anti-HMGCR antibody in the serum of 227 patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM) and 100 healthy control individuals was assessed by ELISA. All ELISA positive samples were retested by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IIFA) on HEK293 cells. The clinical findings, muscle pathological features, and treatment outcomes of patients with anti-HMGCR myopathy, along with comparisons between anti-HMGCR myopathy with and without dermatomyositis (DM)-like skin rashes, and among MSA-based subgroups were analyzed.We established an optimized ELISA cutoff for anti-HMGCR antibody positivity as ≥ 5.28 U. The overall concordance between ELISA and IIFA was 96.83%. Twenty-one out of 227 IIM patients were anti-HMGCR-positive by both assays. Of these 21 patients, 9 had DM-like skin rashes, and 16 showed remarkable muscle inflammation; 5 patients were juvenile-onset, and 2 received statin treatment. The muscle biopsies from these patients demonstrated variable muscle necrosis and T cell infiltration. Most anti-HMGCR-positive patients achieved favorable outcomes following prednisone and additional immunotherapies. The anti-HMGCR myopathy patients with DM-like rashes, compared to those without DM-like rashes, were younger and had a shorter disease duration.Optimization of cutoff of anti-HMGCR antibody assays with confirmation by alternative assays can result in higher sensitivity and specificity. DM-like skin rashes and lymphocytic infiltrates were not rare in patients with anti-HMGCR myopathy. These findings suggest that while anti-HMGCR myopathy may overlap with DM-like rash, it is pathologically different from classic DM, and should be considered a distinct subgroup of IIM.

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Authors: Ying Hou, Kai Shao, Yaping Yan, Tingjun Dai, Wei Li, Yuying Zhao, Duoling Li, Jian-Qiang Lu, Gary L Norman, Chuanzhu Yan