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Scand J Rheumatol. 2002;31(3):133-9.

Serial analysis of Ro/SSA and La/SSB antibody levels and correlation with clinical disease activity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



To investigate the temporal correlation between anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibody levels and compare them with variation in clinical disease activity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


Sequential serum samples collected over 18-44 months from 18 anti-Ro/SSA positive patients with systemic lupus erythematosus were analysed by ELISA with recombinant Ro60, Ro52 and La antigens. Disease activity was assessed by the BILAG index.


Limited antibody level variation over time was found in most patients, but a subset displayed more changes and a co-variation between the levels of separate specificities was found in 40% of patients. In two patients antibody levels fluctuated with the global score. Antibodies also correlated with separate organ/systems involvement in individual patients.


The Ro60, Ro52 and La antibody profile is fixed at an early stage of disease and in most patients hardly changes. Patients with fluctuating levels tend to have a co-ordinated expression of these autoantibodies.

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