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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2003 Apr;42(4):534-40.

The association of antinuclear antibodies with organ involvement and survival in systemic sclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden. r.hesselstrand@telia.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To study the frequency and specificity of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and their association with internal organ involvement and survival in systemic sclerosis (SSc).

METHODS:

Sera from 276 SSc patients were analysed by an indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) technique with HEp-2 cells as a substrate to categorize centromeric (ACA), nucleolar, speckled and homogeneous nuclear IIF patterns. Specific ANA were determined as follows: anti-DNA topoisomerase I (anti-topo I) by double immunodiffusion, anti-U1 RNP by passive haemagglutination, anti-RNA polymerase I, II and III (anti-RNAP) and anti-histone (AHA) antibodies by enzyme immunoassays. During the follow-up of 7.0+/-4.5 (mean+/-S.D.) yr the occurrence of clinical manifestations and internal organ involvement was registered.

RESULTS:

ANA were present in 84% of the patients. The most common patterns of the IIF were speckled (41%), homogeneous (25%), nucleolar (24%) and centromeric (18%). A nucleolar pattern was associated with pulmonary fibrosis (P < 0.01) and cardiomegaly (P < 0.05). ACA were related to organic vasculopathy (P < 0.05) and renal involvement (P < 0.01), but not to pulmonary fibrosis (P < 0.01). Anti-topo I were present in 9.4%, anti-U1 RNP in 21%, anti-RNAP in 22% and AHA in 16% of the patients. Pulmonary involvement was more common in patients with anti-topo I (P < 0.05), whereas AHA-positive patients were characterized by cardiac (P < 0.05), pulmonary (P < 0.05) and renal (P < 0.05) involvement. A nucleolar IIF pattern and AHA were both associated with a decreased survival [relative risk of death 1.71 (P < 0.05) and 2.36 (P < 0.01), respectively].

CONCLUSIONS:

AHA and a nucleolar HEp-2 cell pattern may indicate critical organ involvement and predict a reduced survival in SSc patients.

PMID:
12649400
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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