Cessation of Immunomodulatory Medication Use in Dermatomyositis: A Single-Center Cohort Study

Sung Kyung Cho, Livia Casciola-Rosen, Puneet Kapoor, Lorinda Chung, David Fiorentino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the frequency with which adults with dermatomyositis (DM) are able to discontinue systemic immunomodulatory therapy and factors associated with medication cessation. Methods: We studied a cohort of adult DM patients seen in a rheumatology/dermatology clinic between 2013 and 2020. All patients had exposure to at least 1 systemic immunomodulatory medication for a minimum of 3 months and were followed until medications were discontinued for at least 12 months. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier curves with log-rank analyses, and multivariate analysis was done using Cox proportional hazards models. Results: A total of 246 DM patients were followed up for a median time of ∼7 years (47–134 months). Forty-seven patients (19%) discontinued all immunomodulatory medications with a median follow-up of ∼3 years (interquartile range 22–108 months) following DM onset. Log-rank analysis demonstrated that those with anti-MDA5 autoantibodies discontinued medications faster compared with those without autoantibodies (P = 0.03). Multivariate modeling showed that clinically amyopathic patients were 2.7-fold (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.34–5.59) more likely to discontinue medications than those with muscle disease. Those with anti-MDA5, anti-NXP2, and anti-SAE1 antibodies had increased likelihood of medication cessation with hazard ratios of 9.83 (95% CI 2.00–48.2), 8.92 (95% CI 1.69–47.0), and 10.8 (95% CI 2.06–56.6), respectively, when compared with the autoantibody-negative group. Conclusion: Approximately 20% of adult DM patients discontinued immunomodulatory medications over a median 7-year follow-up. Those with clinically amyopathic disease, anti-MDA5, anti-NXP2, and anti-SAE1 antibodies have a higher likelihood of medication cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1376-1381
Number of pages6
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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