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Dermatomyositis Diagnosis Varies By Medical Specialty

Differences observed between patients presenting to dermatologists and rheumatologists

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Dermatomyositis patients may receive different diagnoses depending on whether they're seen by a dermatologist or rheumatologist, and also according to the degree of their disease, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Rhonda Q. Klein, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues performed a retrospective chart review of 131 patients seen by the school's dermatology department, 58 seen by the rheumatology department, and 13 seen by both departments.

The researchers found that the dermatology department diagnosed classic dermatomyositis in 33 percent of patients, hypomyopathic dermatomyositis in 29 percent, and amyopathic dermatomyositis in 40 percent while the rheumatology department accounted for comparable diagnoses of 89 percent, 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

"With different patients presenting to dermatology and rheumatology, it is essential that both disciplines work together to understand the pathogenesis and triggers of this complex autoimmune disorder, along with treatment strategies," the authors conclude.

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