Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Feb;66(2):407-17. doi: 10.1002/art.38219.

Prevalence of anti-RNA polymerase III antibodies in systemic sclerosis: New data from a French cohort and a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

Université Lille Nord de France, EA 2686, IMPRT IFR 114, Centre National de Référence de la Sclérodermie Systémique, and Hôpital Claude Huriez, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille, Lille, France.



Studies assessing the prevalence of anti-RNA polymerase III (anti-RNAP III) antibodies in systemic sclerosis (SSc) have yielded a wide range of results. The aim of the present study was to describe a new SSc cohort tested for presence of anti-RNAP III and perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the prevalence of anti-RNAP III in patients worldwide and the potential factors of variability.


Seropositivity for anti-RNAP III was evaluated in a French cohort of SSc patients. A systematic review of the literature was carried out in PubMed and EMBase. Meta-analysis was performed using available data on prevalence, clinical characteristics of SSc patients, and the types of assays used for anti-RNAP III testing.


One hundred thirty-three French SSc patients were tested for anti-RNAP III, and a prevalence of 6-9% was found in these patients. Thirty studies representing a total population of 8,437 SSc patients were included in the meta-analysis. Prevalence of anti-RNAP III in this population was highly variable (range 0-41%). The overall pooled prevalence of anti-RNAP III was 11% (95% confidence interval 8-14), but heterogeneity was high among studies (I(2) = 93%, P < 0.0001). Geographic factors such as continent or country of study origin partially explained this heterogeneity and correlated with the prevalence. No other baseline SSc characteristics were significantly correlated with the prevalence of anti-RNAP III.


Data on our new cohort and our meta-analysis of the literature confirmed that anti-RNAP III prevalence in SSc varies among centers. Geographic factors were significantly associated with prevalence, which underscores the probable implication that genetic background and environmental factors play a role. Heterogeneity among studies remained largely unexplained.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center