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Clin Rheumatol. 1997 Jun;16(4):378-83.

Clinical setting of patients with systemic sclerosis by serum autoantibodies.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, Faculty of Medicine 2nd University of Naples, Italy.


Associations of antinuclear (ANA) and anticardiolipin (aCL) antibodies with clinical manifestations were analyzed in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). We studied 105 SSc patients: 28 had limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc) involving fingers; 36 had intermediate cutaneous SSc involving limbs and face; 33 had diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc) involving the trunk; 8 had a sclerosis sine scleroderma. Clinical manifestations and instrumental and laboratory findings were considered to calculate a disease score. Serum anticentromere (ACA), anti-topoisomerase I (anti-topo I) antibodies, and aCL (of IgG/IgA/IgM classes) were investigated by conventional methods. ACA positive patients (n=18), compared to ACA negative, showed higher prevalence of IcSSc (p < 0.001), lower prevalence of restrictive ventilatory defect (p=0.006), and lower disease score (p=0.008). Anti-topo I positive patients (n= 70) showed lower prevalence of lcSSc (p =0.001) compared to anti-topo I negative. In aCL positive patients (n=27) widespread skin and visceral involvement occurred more frequently than in aCL negative. The association with myocardial ischemia or necrosis (p=0.010) was significant. Occurrence of ACA excluded the coexistence of anti-topo I (p < 0.001), and aCL (p=0.037). aCL positive patients showed higher disease score in comparison with ACA positive patients (p=0.003). In conclusion ACA recognize patients with a mild disease. aCL in contrast to ACA are better than anti-topo I in recognizing the most severe pictures of SSc.

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