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n. a generalized disease of the muscles that may be acute or chronic. It particularly affects the muscles of the shoulder and hip girdles, which are weak and tender to the touch. Microscopic examination of the affected muscles shows diffuse inflammatory changes; treatment is with corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant drugs. The skin may be reddened and atrophic. See also dermatomyositis.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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