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Semin Arthritis Rheum. 1984 May;13(4):329-36.

Autoantibodies in juvenile arthritis.


Sera from 104 children with JA with different onset-types of disease were evaluated for 19S IgM RF by the LFT , hidden 19S IgM RF by the hemolytic assay, ANA by HEp-2 cell substrate, and levels of IC by the C1qSPA . Their relationship to active disease was determined. Classical 19S IgM RF were detected by the LFT in only seven patients. All were late-onset polyarticular females. Hidden 19S IgM RF were detected by the hemolytic assay in the separated IgM-containing fraction in 55 patients of all onset-types. Clinical activity correlated with the presence of hidden 19S IgM RF in 82% of cases. ANA, using the HEp-2 cell substrate, were found in 61 patients, the majority showing a speckled, immunofluorescent pattern. ANA were noted in all RF positive patients and in nine of 10 patients with iridocyclitis. IC were found in 39 patients, and correlation with clinical activity occurred in 54% of cases. A search for positive associations among the four parameters showed no statistically significant correlations except for the concordance of ANA positivity in all seven RF positive patients. The presence of hidden RF correlated more closely with disease activity (P less than 0.001) than did that of ANA or IC. The significance of these data and previous studies remains to be determined. We have demonstrated that in the average JA population 7% have 19S IgM RF and about 60% have hidden RF, ANA, or elevated levels of IC. The present findings of 98 of 104 patients with at least one of the abnormal immunoproteins , the association of ANA in patients with iridocyclitis or with RF positivity, of hidden RF with disease activity, and the presence of 19S IgM RF in isolated IC suggest a possible immunologic etiology for JA.

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