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Mod Rheumatol. 2018 Jan;28(1):141-146. doi: 10.1080/14397595.2017.1317377. Epub 2017 May 2.

Anti-SS-A/Ro antibody positivity as a risk factor for relapse in patients with polymyositis/dermatomyositis.

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a Department of Nephrology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology and Metabolism , Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences , Okayama , Japan.



The objective of this study is to elucidate predictors of relapse in patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis (PM/DM).


Fifty PM/DM patients who achieved disease stabilization at Okayama University Hospital in 2004-2014 were enrolled retrospectively. Candidate predictors such as demographic factors, clinical symptoms, laboratory data, and treatment status were compared.


The mean age of enrolled patients was 58 years; 34 were female. The patient groupings were as follows: 21 with PM, 27 with DM, and two with clinically amyopathic DM. During a mean observation period of 685 d, 5 patients (10%) died and 20 (40%) relapsed. The relapsed patients displayed baseline muscle weakness less frequently (85% versus 100%, p = .03) and anti-SS-A/Ro antibody more frequently (65% versus 27%, p = .007). Anti-SS-A/Ro-positive patients exhibited a higher relapse rate than anti-SS-A/Ro-negative patients (log-rank test, p = .03). Anti-SS-A/Ro-positive patients also exhibited higher anti-Jo-1 antibody positivity and lower levels of serum complement. After adjusting anti-Jo-1 antibody positivity, age, sex, CK <500 IU/L, and lung involvement, anti-SS-A/Ro positivity was still an independent risk factor for higher relapse-rate (odds ratio, 5.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-25.1).


Anti-SS-A/Ro antibody positivity may be a useful biomarker for prediction of relapse.


Anti-SS-A/Ro antibodies; dermatomyositis; polymyositis

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