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Case report
Ovoid palatal patch: a clue to anti-TIF1γ dermatomyositis
  1. Ellen Franciosi1,
  2. Kaitlin Blankenship1,
  3. Laura Houk1 and
  4. Mehdi Rashighi1,2
  1. 1 Dermatology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Connective Tissue Disease Clinic and Research Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mehdi Rashighi; Mehdi.Rashighi{at}


An 80-year-old woman presented with a several-year history of progressive hair loss and scalp pruritus. No other rashes or muscle weakness were noted on examination. Scalp biopsy showed interface dermatitis, dense perivascular and periadnexal lymphocytic infiltrate, mucin and scarring alopecia. Laboratory analysis did not show evidence of myositis. The patient was started on hydroxychloroquine for possible cutaneous lupus erythematosus. On follow-up, she presented with a new violaceous rash on the superior eyelids and a well-defined oval patch on the mid-hard palate suspicious for dermatomyositis. Myositis-specific autoantibodies revealed presence of anti-transcriptional intermediary factor-1γ (anti-TIF1γ) in the serum. Anti-TIF1γ autoantibody-positive dermatomyositis is a newly recognised subtype of dermatomyositis that is highly associated with amyopathic disease and has an increased risk of malignancy, making prompt diagnosis crucial. This case highlights the utility of a thorough oral exam in patients suspected to have connective tissue disease as the distinctive ovoid palatal patch is nearly pathognomonic for anti-TIF1γ dermatomyositis.

  • dermatology
  • connective tissue disease

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  • Contributors EF drafted the case report. KB aided in writing the case report and in the care of the patient. LH contributed to the patient’s care. MR cared for the patient and edited the report. All authors reviewed and approved the final draft of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.