If your doctor suspects you have polymyositis, he or she might suggest some of the following tests:
- Blood tests. A blood test will let your doctor know if you have elevated levels of muscle enzymes, which can indicate muscle damage. A blood test can also detect specific autoantibodies associated with different symptoms of polymyositis, which can help in determining the best medication and treatment.
- Electromyography. This test involves inserting a thin needle electrode through the skin into the muscle. Electrical activity is measured as you relax or tighten the muscle, and changes in the pattern of electrical activity can confirm a muscle disease. The doctor can determine the distribution of the disease by testing different muscles.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A scanner creates cross-sectional images of your muscles from data generated by a powerful magnetic field and radio waves. Unlike a muscle biopsy, an MRI can assess inflammation over a large area of muscle.
- Muscle biopsy. During this test, a small piece of muscle tissue is surgically removed for laboratory analysis. Analysis may reveal abnormalities, such as inflammation, damage, certain proteins or enzyme deficiencies.
July 21, 2017
- Polymyositis and dermatomyositis. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/autoimmune-rheumatic-disorders/polymyositis-and-dermatomyositis. Accessed April 13, 2017.
- Facts about inflammatory myopathies (myositis). Muscular Dystrophy Association. https://www.mda.org/sites/default/files/publications/Facts_Inflamm_Myopathies_P-199.pdf. Accessed April 13, 2017.
- Polymyositis information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Polymyositis-Information-Page. Accessed April 13, 2017.
- Goldman L, et al., eds. Inflammatory myopathies. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 13, 2017.
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- Miller ML, et al. Initial treatment of dermatomyositis and polymyositis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 13, 2017.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 23, 2017.