Vesiculobullous dermatomyositis with sensory motor neuropathy.

PMID 23930362


A 74-year-old man presented with muscle weakness in both legs for a duration of 2 months. Physical examination revealed periorbital edema and erythema, erythema on the neck and chest, erythematous papules on the proximal-distal interphalangeal and metocarpophalangeal joints, crusted plaque lesions on the thighs and around the knees, and bullous and ulcerated lesions in the antecubital and popliteal fossae (Figure 1A and 1B). Some bullous lesions were intact and some were ulcerated. There was severe edema especially in the upper extremities. He had a history of 15-kg weight loss for 4 months. Laboratory findings were remarkable for a white blood cell count of 16.0 K/UL (4.60-10.20 K/UL), a C-reactive protein of 6.93 mg/dL (0-0.5 mg/dL), an erythrocyte sedimentation rate of 50 mm/h (8-15 mm/h), an aspartate aminotransferase level of 213 U/L (10-40 U/L), a lactate dehydrogenase of 447 U/L (< 225 U/L), and a creatine kinase level of 1733 U/L (29-200 U/L). Results from antinuclear antibody at 1:320 titers and anti-smooth muscle antibody were positive. Results from anti-SS A/SS B antibodies, anti Jo-1 antibody, U1-snRNP antibody, and anti-ds DNA antibody tests were negative. A skin biopsy specimen obtained from the right antecubital fossa showed minimal orthokeratosis and subepidermal detachments. There was marked edema in the dermis and lymphocyte infiltration around the skin appendages (Figure 2). Direct immunofluorescence studies demonstrated scattered staining for C3 and IgM at the basal membrane zone. Results for IgG, IgA, and fibrin staining were negative. Muscle biopsy from left deltoid muscle was performed and some muscle fibers were demonstrated to be atrophied. There was remarkable difference between muscle fiber diameters. With Masson staining, there was increased connective tissue and no inflammation. Electromyography (EMG) showed a myogenic pattern. Nerve conduction studies showed tibial, median, ulnar, peroneal motor neuropathy, and median, ulnar, and sural sensory neuropathy. Based on these findings, diagnosis of vesiculo-bullous dermatomyositis (DM) was made. Further investigation of esophagogastroduodenoscopy with biopsy revealed ulcerated lesions on antrum and corpus and these were assessed as Helicobacter pylori-negative atrophic chronic gastritis. No pathologic findings were described on chest, abdomen, and pelvic tomography. Levels of tumor markers were within normal ranges. Overall, no sign of malignancy was detected. Methyl prednisolone treatment of 1 mg/kg/d was started; however, new bullous lesions erupted while the original lesions were healing.