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Ann Intern Med. 1993 Nov 15;119(10):1005-13.

Autoantibody reactive with RNA polymerase III in systemic sclerosis.

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1
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the clinical significance of anti-RNA polymerase III antibody in systemic sclerosis (SSc).

DESIGN:

A point prevalence study of autoantibody to RNA polymerase III and longitudinal examination of its clinical significance in patients with SSc and in controls.

SETTING:

University medical center rheumatology practice.

PATIENTS:

Two hundred fifty-two consecutive new patients with SSc and 170 controls (150 patients with other connective tissue diseases and 20 normal volunteers).

MEASUREMENTS:

The presence of anti-RNA polymerase III antibody was determined by immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting, and immunodepletion studies.

MAIN RESULTS:

Serum specimens from 57 of the 252 patients with SSc (23%; 95% CI, 18% to 28%) reacted with RNA polymerase III, compared with none of the specimens from 170 controls (0%; 95% CI, 0% to 2%). In 40 of these 57 specimens, immunoprecipitation studies also showed the presence of RNA polymerase I or II, or both. Anti-RNA polymerase III antibody was detected in sera from 50 of the 111 patients (45%) who had SSc with diffuse cutaneous involvement (dcSSc), 7 of 114 patients (6%) who had SSc with limited cutaneous involvement, and none of 27 patients with an SSc overlap syndrome (P < 0.001). Among patients with dcSSc, anti-RNA polymerase III antibody was more common than antitopoisomerase I antibody (45% compared with 27%; P = 0.008). Patients with anti-RNA polymerase III antibody had a statistically significant higher mean maximum skin thickness score but statistically significant lower frequencies of telangiectasias, inflammatory myopathy, restrictive lung disease, and serious cardiac abnormalities than did patients with antitopoisomerase I antibody.

CONCLUSION:

Anti-RNA polymerase III antibody is a new marker autoantibody for many patients who have SSc with diffuse or extensive cutaneous involvement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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