Experts from Northern Care Alliance and NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre have helped to develop a new guideline for clinicians on the treatment and management of myositis.
The recommendations from the British Society for Rheumatology have been launched to combat the lack of guidance for treatment of the condition, which causes unexplained inflammation in muscle and can also affect internal organs, including the heart, lungs and gut.
For the first time, healthcare professionals can access evidence-based recommendations for paediatric, adolescent and adult patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM).
Professor Hector Chinoy, Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Salford Royal and Professor of Rheumatology & Neuromuscular Disease at NIHR Manchester BRC , co-led the guidelines, and his colleagues within the Manchester Myositis Research Group, Drs Alexander Oldroyd and James Lilleker are joint first authors, with NCA Consultant Physiotherapist Will Gregory as a co-author.
Dr Oldroyd, Academic Clinical Lecturer at The University of Manchester, said: “No rigorously produced guidelines for myositis spanning juvenile and adult-onset disease exist. This new ground-breaking guideline will provide a standard of care for patients across the UK.”
The guideline provides clinicians and the whole MDT with the most up-to-date guidance to help support patients through treatment and management of the condition.
The guideline contains practical recommendations on a variety of issues including:
- medicines and treatment options
- treatment for patients during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- fracture risk assessment
- screening for cardiac issues, cancer and dysphagia
- considerations relating to quality of life.
Dr Lilleker, an NIHR Clinical Lecturer and Neurology Consultant at Salford Royal, said: “We brought together both adult and paediatric rheumatologists, along with neurologists, a nurse, a pharmacist, dermatologists and physiotherapists to ensure the guideline was comprehensive and evidence based. We also worked with patients and relatives throughout the process.”
Professor Chinoy said: “Importantly, this guideline addresses management of IIM across all ages, removing barriers that exist between paediatric and adult clinicians.”
Dr Liza McCann, from Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and who also co-led the development of the guideline, said: “It highlights the importance of exercise, led and monitored by specialist physiotherapists and occupational therapists, as well as the need to address psychological wellbeing as an integral part of treatment, in parallel with pharmacological therapies. It also shows gaps in evidence and areas for future research across all age groups.’’