Skip to Main Content

Myositis Program

Myositis is an autoimmune disease that involves chronic inflammation of the muscles, and it can affect almost every system in the body. The Yale Myositis Program takes a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to caring for people with this complex condition.

Leaders of the Myositis Program hope to establish it as a center of excellence. In addition to treating patients, eventually, the team would like to work with basic researchers and perform clinical trials to understand the pathogenesis of the disease. Another goal is to educate colleagues and primary care physicians about the condition to improve awareness about myositis and hopefully get patients diagnosed earlier in the disease process.

Our Approach

The Myositis Program, which opened in October 2022, is one of a few specialized myositis centers in the country, offering a team of dedicated specialists from diverse areas such as neurology, pulmonology, dermatology, pathology, and genetics to provide comprehensive patient care. 

Myositis is an umbrella term for various conditions (including polymyositis, dermatomyositis, and necrotizing myopathy, among others) that can affect the limbs, skin, and other organs. Complications of the disease can include a debilitating loss of strength, functionality, and mobility; it can be life-threatening when it affects the lungs and heart. 

Every patient is unique and can have different symptoms, which can change over time. For example, someone can have a skin rash without the muscle component, or they can have muscle weakness and lung inflammation without the skin rash. It can become complicated because patients may not be experiencing all three symptoms simultaneously when they see their doctor, and the treatment typically targets the organ flaring at that particular moment.

The good news is that there has been great progress in understanding of the condition, thanks to the development of technologies that allow for early diagnosis and more tailored treatment. 

Our Team

The program’s directors are two rheumatologists interested in myositis— assistant professors of clinical medicine Harjinder Chowdhary, MBBS, MD, and Oana Zaha, MD.

The idea for a program focusing specifically on myositis came from the chief of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology Richard Bucala, MD, PhD, Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and professor of pathology and epidemiology (microbial diseases); and Vaidehi Chowdhary, MBBS, MD, associate professor of medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology) and clinical chief, Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology.