COVID-19 and Myositis: What We Know So Far

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2021 Jul 3;23(8):63. doi: 10.1007/s11926-021-01023-9.


PURPOSE: Myositis as a rare manifestation of COVID-19 is only recently being reported. This review examines the current literature on COVID-19-induced myositis focusing on etiopathogenesis, clinical presentations, diagnostic practices, and therapeutic challenges with immunosuppression, and the difficulties experienced by rheumatologists in established myositis in the COVID-19 era.

RECENT FINDINGS: COVID-19 is associated with a viral myositis attributable to direct myocyte invasion or induction of autoimmunity. COVID-19-induced myositis may be varied in presentation, from typical dermatomyositis to rhabdomyolysis, and a paraspinal affliction with back pain. It may or may not present with acute exponential elevations of enzyme markers such as creatine kinase (CK). Virus-mediated muscle inflammation is attributed to ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme) receptor-mediated direct entry and affliction of muscle fibers, leading on to innate and adaptive immune activation. A greater recognition of the stark similarity between anti-MDA5-positive myositis with COVID-19 has thrown researchers into the alley of exploration – finding common etiopathogenic basis as well as therapeutic strategies. For patients with established myositis, chronic care was disrupted during the pandemic with several logistic challenges and treatment dilemmas leading to high flare rates. Teleconsultation bridged the gap while ushering in an era of patient-led care with the digital transition to tools of remote disease assessment. COVID-19 has brought along greater insight into unique manifestations of COVID-19-related myositis, ranging from direct virus-induced muscle disease to triggered autoimmunity and other etiopathogenic links to explore. A remarkable shift in the means of delivering chronic care has led patients and caregivers worldwide to embrace a virtual shift with teleconsultation and opened doorways to a new era of patient-led care.

PMID:34216297 | PMC:PMC8254439 | DOI:10.1007/s11926-021-01023-9