Frequency and significance of anti-Ro (SS-A) antibodies in multiple sclerosis patients

Acta Neurol Scand. 2001 Aug;104(2):83-7. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0404.2001.104002083.x.


Objective: To determine the frequency and significance of antinuclear (ANA), anticardiolipin (ACA) and anti-Ro (SS-A) antibodies in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Methods: ANA (indirect immunofluorescence), ACA and anti-Ro (SS-A) antibodies (ELISA) were tested in sera of 42 patients with Poser defined MS and 50 healthy individuals.

Results: High levels of anti-Ro (SS-A) antibodies were found in 3 patients (7%) (vs 0 in the control group). Two of them had normal salivary gland biopsy. Clinical MS form was chronic-progressive in 2 cases and relapsing-remitting in the third one. Ten patients (23%) had low levels of ANA (vs 4%), none of them positive for anti-Ro (SS-A) antibodies. Only 1 patient (2%) with RR clinical form had ACA (vs 0). No clinical or neuroradiological differences with conventional MS patients were observed.

Conclusions: ANA, ACA and anti-Ro (SS-A) antibodies in MS patients indicate an underlying autoimmune disease but our series suggests that they are an epiphenomenon of a more diffuse immunological dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Anticardiolipin / blood*
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / blood*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / blood
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology


  • Antibodies, Anticardiolipin
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • SS-A antibodies