Myositis (Inflammatory Myopathy)

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Accurate diagnosis and a specialized, personalized treatment plan are proven to successfully treat these rare conditions. Houston Methodist’s team of experts are leaders in diagnosis, treatment and research of myositis.

The multidisciplinary team at Houston Methodist will carefully develop a personalized treatment plan to help you overcome the challenges of myositis. Our goal is to provide comprehensive care using the best treatment options and improve your quality of life. 

Our physicians collaborate across specialties to offer the most comprehensive care backed by leading research at our Neurological Institute. The institute is a recognized for developing innovative technologies, drugs and clinical trials to advance treatments for myositis. 

Diagnosis and Treatment of Myositis

How is myositis diagnosed?

Myositis refers to a variety of diseases that cause chronic muscle inflammation, fatigue and reduced strength. Several types, known as inflammatory myopathies, are autoimmune diseases, and occur when your body’s immune system begins to attack normal, healthy tissue. 

Our team is prepared to address the challenges of diagnosing myositis such as: 


  • Myositis diseases are rare so your physician should be familiar with these conditions. 
  • Myositis symptoms often resemble and can occur in combination with other autoimmune diseases. 
  • Every patient has different symptoms due to the various forms of myositis. 


Diagnosis includes gathering your medical history and conducting a physical exam. Other tests help determine the causes for your muscle weakness.


  • Blood tests   
  • Diagnostic tests such as MRI, EMG and NCV studies.  
  • Muscle and skin biopsy are often the most definitive way to diagnose myositis diseases.


Myositis may appear in different forms including: 

Dermatomyositis: The immune system attacks blood vessels that supply the muscles and skin, causing a skin rash along with hard bumps under the skin. It is rare, affecting one in 10 million adults per year. 

Polymyositis: The immune system attacks muscle fibers. Muscle weakness makes it difficult to rise from a seated position or lift objects. 

Inclusion body myositis: In addition to inflammation, people with inclusion body myositis also experience loss of muscle mass. This disease affects adults ages 50 and older. 

How is myositis treated?

 The first step in treating myositis is to resolve or manage any underlying cause or condition.


  • For myositis caused by injuries, treating the affected muscle and rest will usually resolve any weakness. 
  • Myositis caused by a virus will usually resolve once the virus has run its course. (In the rare case myositis is caused by a bacterial infection, we recommend antibiotics to stop the spread of the infection.) 
  • We can find alternative medications if those you currently take are causing myositis.  
  • For myositis caused by inflammation or autoimmune conditions, we treat with drugs that suppress the immune system, such as prednisone. 
  • If you have had a prolonged period of muscle weakness, physical therapy and exercise will help you regain strength in the affected muscles. 


While there is no cure for any form of myositis, an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan offers hope to manage symptoms and live a full life. 

I need advanced care or a second opinion.

Myositis is a serious illness, and an accurate diagnosis of your symptoms is the best way to treat and manage your specific condition. Houston Methodist’s experts will design a personalized treatment plan to reduce the impact of myositis on your daily life and improve your physical and emotional well-being.

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