Antihistone antibodies (AHAs) as measured by an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were detected in the sera of 58 (48%) of 121 unselected patients with juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA). AHAs were found in 28 (93%) of 30 patients with JCA with uveitis but in only 30 (33%) of 91 patients with JCA without uveitis. AHA positivity was unrelated to the type of joint involvement, disease activity, and drug regimen. When the AHA positive group was divided into 28 patients with JCA with uveitis and 30 patients with JCA without uveitis a distinct response pattern of AHA was detected in each group. Anti-H3 dominated in the JCA/uveitis group, whereas a more heterogeneous AHA pattern was shown in the group without uveitis. The results indicate that subtyping for AHA reactivity may define patients who are highly susceptible for the development of anterior uveitis.
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