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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Jan;55(1):103-8. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kev300. Epub 2015 Aug 28.

Associations between anti-Ro52 antibodies and lung fibrosis in mixed connective tissue disease.

Author information

Rheumatology Unit, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet,
Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Oslo University Hospital.
Department of Radiology, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet.
Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo and.
Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo and Department of Respiratory Medicine, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.
Rheumatology Unit, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet.
Rheumatology Unit, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo and.



MCTD is a chronic, immune-mediated disorder defined by the combined presence of serum anti-RNP antibodies and distinct clinical features, including progressive lung fibrosis. The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential impact of anti-SSA (i.e. Ro52 and Ro60) and anti-SSB autoantibodies as markers for disease outcomes in MCTD.


Stored serum samples from 113 patients included in the cross-sectional, nationwide Norwegian MCTD cohort were screened for the presence of anti-Ro52, anti-Ro60 and anti-SSB by a commercial line immunoassay. Correlation analyses were carried out with clinical parameters, including quantitative lung fibrosis scores by high-resolution CT. Lung fibrosis was defined by reticular pattern changes according to the Fleischner Society CT criteria for interstitial lung disease.


Anti-Ro52 antibodies were present in 29%, anti-Ro60 in 19% and anti-SSB in 6% of the MCTD sera. High-resolution CT scoring identified lung fibrosis in 38 of 113 (34%) MCTD patients. Anti-Ro52 antibodies were detected in 50% (19 of 38) of the MCTD patients with lung fibrosis and in 19% (14 of 75) without lung fibrosis (P < 0.001). The odds ratio for the presence of anti-Ro52 antibodies in lung fibrosis was 4.4 (95% CI 1.8, 10.3). Anti-Ro52 antibodies were equally frequent in patients with mild to moderate (eight of 17; 44%) and severe fibrosis (11 of 21; 52%). Anti-Ro52 was not associated with any of the other clinical parameters assessed, nor was anti-Ro60 or anti-SSB.


Our cross-sectional data suggest that anti-Ro52 antibodies may serve as a potential marker for lung fibrosis in MCTD.


SSB antigen; Sjögren’s syndrome; anti-La; anti-Ro; anti-SSA/Ro52; anti-SSA/Ro60; interstitial pulmonary fibrosis; lung diseases; mixed connective tissue disease; scleroderma systemic

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