Dr Claire Deakin

“Dr Claire Deakin, a post-doctoral fellow supported by The Myositis Association, has analysed muscle biopsy and autoantibodies as prognostic factors for long-term outcomes in JDM."

Prognostic factors for JDM

As part of the Juvenile Dermatomyositis Cohort and Biomarker Study, we are studying histopathological features of muscle biopsies taken from JDM patients. We have developed a score tool for assessing the severity of muscle disease in JDM biopsies and we are also investigating how the severity of muscle disease differs according to the autoantibodies detected in patients’ blood.

Dr Claire Deakin, a post-doctoral fellow supported by The Myositis Association, has analysed muscle biopsy and autoantibodies as prognostic factors for long-term outcomes in JDM. She has found that increased severity of muscle disease is linked to an increased likelihood of remaining on treatment over time. Interestingly, the relationship between muscle disease and treatment length is also affected by the type of autoantibody detected in patients’ blood. For example, although patients with certain autoantibodies may be more likely to have severe muscle disease at onset, in spite of this they may also be more likely to come off treatment.

Such knowledge may be useful for identifying which patients may respond to standard treatment or may require more intensive treatment. It may also be useful for estimating the likely duration of treatment.