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Anti-HMGCR myopathy: barriers to prompt recognition


Anti-HMGCR (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase) myopathy is an immune-mediated necrotising myopathy. Atypical presentations hinder its recognition and its prompt treatment. We present two patients with atypical clinical or pathological features. A 45-year-old woman had an asymptomatic serum creatine kinase (CK) of ~10 000 IU/L and muscle biopsy showing minimal changes. She then developed slowly progressive proximal weakness, diagnosed as limb-girdle muscular dystrophy but with negative genetics. Twelve years later, now with severe proximal weakness, her MR scan of muscle showed diffuse asymmetrical fatty degeneration, with conspicuous hyperintense STIR signal abnormalities. HMGCR antibodies were positive and she partially improved with immunosuppression. The second patient developed slowly progressive proximal limb weakness with a high serum CK (~4000 IU/L); muscle biopsy showed a lymphocyte infiltrate with angiocentric distribution suggesting vasculitis. Serum HMGCR antibodies were positive. Anti-HMGCR myopathy can present as a slowly progressive myopathy with atypical pathology. HMGCR antibody screening is indicated for people with suspected limb-girdle muscular dystrophy or atypical inflammatory muscle conditions.


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Data are available on reasonable request.

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