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Lupus. 2012 Nov;21(13):1412-22. doi: 10.1177/0961203312456751. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

Distinct phenotypes in mixed connective tissue disease: subgroups and survival.

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  • 1Institute of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. szodoray@gmail.com


The aim of the present study was to assess the autoantibody profile, dominant clinical symptoms and cluster characteristics of different mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD phenotypes. Two-hundred-and-one patients with MCTD were followed-up longitudinally. Five clinical parameters, Raynaud's phenomenon, pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH), myositis, interstitial lung disease (ILD), erosive arthritis and five auto-antibodies besides anti-U1RNP, antiendothelial cell antibodies (AECA), anti-CCP, anti-cardiolipin (anti-CL), anti-SSA/SSB and IgM rheumatoid factor (RF) were selected for cluster analysis. The mean age of patients was 52.9 ± 12.4 years and the mean follow-up of the disease was 12.5 ± 7.2 years. Patients were classified into three cluster groups. Cluster 1 with 77 patients, cluster 2 with 79 patients and cluster 3 with 45 patients. In cluster 1 the prevalence of PAH (55.8%; p < 0.001), Raynaud's phenomenon (92.2%; p < 0.001) and livedo reticularis (24.6%, p < 0.001) was significantly greater than in cluster 2 and 3. In cluster 2, the incidence of ILD (98.7%; p < 0.001), myositis (77.2%; p < 0.001), and esophageal dysmotility (89.8%; p < 0.001) was significantly greater than that in cluster 1 and 3. In cluster 3, anti-CCP antibodies were present in 31 of 45 patients (68.8%) with erosions. Anti-CCP antibodies were present in 37 of 42 patients (88.0%) with erosions. PAH, angina, venous thrombosis was observed in cluster 1 and pulmonary fibrosis in cluster 2, musculosceletal damage, gastrointestinal symptoms and osteoporotic fractures were most frequent in cluster 3. Cumulative survival assessment indicated cluster 1 patients having the worst prognosis. Cluster analysis is valuable to differentiate among various subsets of MCTD and useful prognostic factor regarding the disease course.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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