Impact and Management of Dysphagia in Inflammatory Myopathies


Rachel Zeng & Jens Schmidt

Purpose of Review
Dysphagia is a common symptom in inflammatory myopathies. This review provides an overview on the epidemiology, clinical impact, and management of dysphagia in myositis. Relevant diagnostic tools and treatment strategies are discussed.

Recent Findings
Dysphagia can occur in any inflammatory myopathy, particularly in inclusion body myositis (IBM). It can lead to malnutrition or aspiration with subsequent pneumonia or even death. Dysphagia can be explored and monitored by patient-reported outcome scales for swallowing. New diagnostic tools such as real-time MRI and oro-pharyngo-esophageal scintigraphy have been studied for assessing dysphagia. Botulinum toxin injection can alleviate dysphagia in IBM. High-dose glucocorticosteroids are considered a first-line treatment for dysphagia in all other myositis subforms.

Evaluation of dysphagia in myositis requires thorough clinical workup and appropriate instrumental procedures. Treatment options are available for dysphagia, but controlled trials and consensus on best patient care are required for this important symptom.

Published: 28 August 2020
Journal: Inflammatory Muscle Disease, volume Rep 22, issue 74 (2020)


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