Eight cases of dermatomyositis in children admitted to Scottish hospitals between 1962 and 1972 have been reviewed. 6 of the 8 were currently in complete remission. In the other 2 cases the disease remained active in 1 and 1 had died of cardiac failure 6 years after the onset of disease. 5 had developed extensive soft tissue calcification for which 2 were treated with ethanehydroxydiphosphonate, one showing definite improvement and the other no change. All had been treated with corticosteroids and two in addition had had cytotoxic agents (methotrexate or cyclophosphamide). The overal prognosis had probably been improved by the use of corticosteroids but not by the cytotoxic drugs. Only one of the patients was incapacitated by residual contractures or calcinosis.
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