Immune myopathy with large histiocyte-related myofiber necrosis

Alan Pestronk, Namita Sinha, Ziad Alhumayyd, Cindy Ly, Robert Schmidt, Robert Bucelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To describe the features of a new, pathologically distinctive, acquired myopathy with an unusual pattern of scattered necrotic muscle fibers that are neighbored, surrounded, or invaded, by large, often multinucleated, histiocytic cells. METHODS: Retrospective review of records and muscle pathology of 4 patients. RESULTS: Clinical features common to our patients included muscle pain and proximal, symmetric, moderate to severe, weakness in the arms and legs progressing over 1-4 weeks. Patients had other associated systemic disorders, including anemia in all, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, hepatic disease, Raynaud phenomenon, metastatic cancer, and cardiomyopathy, in 1 patient each. Serum creatine kinase (CK) levels at presentation were very high, ranging from 10,000 to 102,000 U/L. Three patients improved within 3 months after treatment. Muscle pathology included scattered necrotic muscle fibers with cytoplasm that stained for C5b-9 complement, especially around fiber peripheries, pale on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and often dark on hematoxylin & eosin. Large, often multinucleated, cells with features of histiocytes, including anatomical features on electron microscopy and immunostaining for major histocompatibility complex Class I and histiocyte markers (HAM56, CD68, CD163, and S100), were usually closely apposed to the surface of, or invaded, necrotic myofibers. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with large-histiocyte-associated myopathy (LHIM) had a subacute onset of proximal predominant weakness, associated systemic disorders, very high serum CK, and a pathologically distinctive pattern of large histiocyte-associated muscle fiber necrosis. LHIM may be caused by an autoimmune, histiocyte-mediated attack directed against muscle fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1763-e1772
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 9 2019


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