Objective: To evaluate the clinical usefulness of serum autoantibody profiling in patients with autoimmune myositis.
Methods: We retrospectively studied 74 consecutive patients: 68 had definite or probable myositis according to Bohan-Peter criteria, six suffered from antisynthetase syndrome with subclinical myopathy. Myositis specific antibodies (MSA) (anti-ARS, -SRP, -Mi-2) were determined by RNA immunoprecipitation or immunoblot, myositis associated antibodies (MAA) (anti-RoRNP, -U1RNP, -PM/Scl, -Ku) by immunoblot.
Results: Forty-three patients (58%) were positive for MSA: anti-Jo-1 in 15/27 polymyositis (PM) (55%), 4/33 dermatomyositis (DM) (12%), 1/8 overlap (12%) and 2/6 antisynthetase syndrome (33%); anti-ARS non-Jo-1 in 1/27 PM (4%), 2/33 DM (6%) and 4/6 antisynthetase syndrome (67%); anti-Mi-2 in 1/27 PM (4%) and 11/33 DM (33%); anti-SRP in 3/27 PM (11%) and 1/33 DM (3%). One patient was anti-Jo-1/Mi-2 positive, one anti-Jo-1/SRP positive. Moreover, 27 patients (36%) were positive for MAA: anti-Ro/SSA in 8/27 PM (30%), 7/33 DM (21%), 1/8 overlap (12%), and 3/6 antisynthetase syndrome (50%); anti-U1RNP in 1/27 PM (3.7%), 1/33 DM (3%), and 2/8 overlap (25%); anti-PM/Scl in 2/8 overlap (25%), anti-Ku in 2/8 overlap (25%). Anti-Jo-1 was predominantly associated with PM, anti-Mi-2 was almost exclusively found in DM patients. Anti-ARS antibodies were closely associated with interstitial lung disease and polyarthritis; notably, anti-ARS non-Jo-1 was more frequent in patients without overt muscle alterations. Anti-Ro/SSA antibody was not associated with any disease subset, but significantly more frequent in antisynthetase syndrome.
Conclusions: Searching for MSA and MAA in patients with autoimmmune myositis is recommended because of its diagnostic and clinical value. Anti-ARS non-Jo-1 antibodies seem to preferentially target patients with pulmonary fibrosis without overt myopathy.