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Specific antinuclear antibodies are associated with clinical features in systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. I E A Hoffman1,
  2. I Peene1,
  3. L Meheus2,
  4. T W J Huizinga3,
  5. L Cebecauer4,
  6. D Isenberg5,
  7. K De Bosschere2,
  8. F Hulstaert2,
  9. E M Veys1,
  10. F De Keyser1
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
  2. 2Innogenetics NV, Zwijnaarde, Belgium
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology, Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, Leiden, The Netherlands
  4. 4Research Institute for Rheumatic Diseases, Piestany, Slovakia
  5. 5Centre For Rheumatology, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr I Hoffman
    Department of Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium;


Objectives: To study associations between antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and signs/symptoms in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: A consecutive cohort of 289 patients with SLE was included; 235 fulfilled ACR criteria for SLE and were further analysed. ANA profiles were determined by line immunoassay and by indirect immunofluorescence on Crithidia luciliae. An extensive list of signs/symptoms was evaluated.

Results: Five clusters of antibodies were defined by cluster analysis: 1—antibodies to SmB, SmD, RNP-A, RNP-C, and RNP-70k; 2—antibodies to Ro52, Ro60, and SSB; 3, 4, and 5—antibodies to ribosomal P, histones and dsDNA, respectively. Significant associations (p⩽0.01) were found between anti-RNP-70k, anti-RNP-A, anti-RNP-C and Raynaud’s phenomenon, between anti-RNP-A, anti-RNP-70k and leucopenia, and between anti-RNP-A, anti-RNP-C and a lower prevalence of urine cellular casts. Anti-SSA, anti-SSB were associated with xerostomia, and anti-SSB with pericarditis. Antibodies to ribosomal P were associated with haemolytic anaemia, leucopenia, and alopecia. Patients with anti-dsDNA antibodies had a higher risk for cellular casts and a lower risk for photosensitivity. Antihistone antibodies were associated with arthritis.

Conclusions: In a large and consecutive cohort of patients with SLE, clusters of antibodies were identified. Previously reported associations of antibodies with symptoms were confirmed and new associations found.

  • ANA, antinuclear antibodies
  • IIF, indirect immunofluorescence
  • LIA, line immunoassay
  • SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus
  • antinuclear antibodies
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • clinical associations

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