Necrotizing myopathy presenting as congestive heart failure
Necrotizing autoimmune myopathy is a rare subtype of idiopathic inflammatory myopathy; however, it can be associated with fatal cardiac manifestations.

A 58-year-old female patient was referred for congestive heart failure with dysrhythmia. Electrocardiograms showed ventricular arrhythmias of various QRS complex morphologies and coupling intervals with beat-to-beat differences. Despite optimal medical therapy for heart failure, the patient was admitted for the progression of dyspnoea and generalized motor weakness. The burden of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia gradually increased, and ventricular fibrillation eventually occurred. In view of a differential diagnosis of an inflammatory myocardial diseases such as sarcoidosis, a cardiac biopsy was performed.

However, pathologic examinations revealed only necrotic muscle fibres without granuloma. Further examinations revealed proximal dominant motor weakness, an elevated serum creatinine-phosphokinase level, myogenic potentials on needle electromyography, and biceps muscle biopsy findings that were compatible with necrotizing autoimmune myopathy. High-dose steroid therapy improved the patient’s motor weakness, including her respiratory impairment, and successfully suppressed ventricular arrhythmias.

This case suggests that intensive immunosuppressive therapy with high-dose steroid could be useful in the necrotizing autoimmune myopathy manifested as congestive heart failure and life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias.