Indexed on: 07 Dec '00Published on: 07 Dec '00Published in: Bone Marrow Transplantation
An unusual case of respiratory failure and dropped head syndrome as a complication of severe chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)-related polymyositis is described. The patient required tracheostomy and mechanical ventilation but recovered following treatment with aggressive immunosuppression and intensive rehabilitation. The differential diagnoses of muscle weakness in the bone marrow transplant (BMT) patient and the dropped head syndrome are both discussed. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation occurring as a complication of GVHD-related polymyositis.