This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is dermatomyositis. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how dermatomyositis will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a traditional question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS CONDITION (ON EXAMS)
When it comes to standardized exams, each condition has its own “code” marked by key buzzwords, lab findings, clues, etc. If you are well versed in this code you will be able to more quickly identify the condition that is being discussed, and get the right answer on the exam you are taking. Below is the “code” for dermatomyositis.
- Proximal muscle weakness: difficulty climbing stairs/combing hair, etc.
- Gottron papules: red/violaceous flat toped papules over the joints and bony prominences (especially on the hands).
- Heliotrope rash: that can be present
- Elevated CK values will be present in the serum.
- Serology may be positive for: ANA (frequently elevated), anti Jo-1 (more specific to this condition)
Question # 1
Explanation # 1
Question # 2
Explanation # 2
TESTABLE FACTS ABOUT THIS CONDITION (BEYOND ITS IDENTIFICATION)
Many questions on standardized exams go beyond simply recognizing the underlying condition. Often there are specific testable facts regarding some aspect of the disease’s pathophysiology/management/clinical implications that are commonly asked. Some of these are listed below:
- Underlying malignancy (paraneoplastic syndrome): ovarian, lung, colorectal and non-Hodgkin lymphoma may all be causes.
- In isolation (no underlying malignancy)
- Appearance on muscle biopsy: perimysial inflammatory infiltrate, patchy necrosis
Page Updated: 04.10.2017