What is the relationship between rheumatic diseases and neuromuscular disease
Many primary rheumatic diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic vasculitis, are frequently complicated by the peripheral nervous system or myopathic disease. Rheumatic diseases can affect any part of the peripheral nervous system through different mechanisms. For example, chronic synovitis, joint contractures, and deformities seen in rheumatoid arthritis can lead to muscle atrophy, weakness, and nerve compression. Other rheumatic diseases such as polymyositis are dominated by immune-mediated inflammation of the muscle, though the differential diagnosis of myopathy is quite broad. Neuromuscular manifestations of rheumatic diseases may present as early and dominant findings, or as late complications of well-established diseases. There may also be complications of therapy for rheumatic diseases, as with the use of glucocorticoids.