Antibodies to amino acid 200-239 (p200) of Ro52 as serological markers for the risk of developing congenital heart block

Clin Exp Immunol. 2008 Oct;154(1):30-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03732.x. Epub 2008 Aug 22.


Maternal autoantibodies to the p200-epitope of Ro52 have been suggested to correlate with development of congenital heart block. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical relevance and predictive value of p200-antibodies in high-risk pregnancies. Sera from 515 Finnish, Swedish and American women were included in the study. Sera originated from 202 mothers with an infant affected by second- or third-degree atrioventricular block (AVB), 177 mothers with rheumatic disease having infants with normal heart rate and female blood donors (n = 136). A novel serological assay for Ro52 p200-antibodies with intra- and inter-assay variability of 3% and 3.8% respectively was developed. Mothers of children affected by AVB II-III had significantly higher p200-antibody levels than mothers with rheumatic disease having children with normal heart rate (P < 0.001). In the Swedish cohort, a distinction between foetuses with normal conduction, AVB I, AVB II and III was possible. A significant difference in anti-p200 levels between AVB I and AVB II-III groups compared with foetuses with normal conduction (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01) was observed. Using p200-antibodies as a second step analysis in Ro52-positive pregnancies increased the positive predictive value for foetal cardiac involvement (AVB I, II or III) from 0.39 (0.27-0.51) to 0.53 (0.37-0.68). In conclusion, Ro52 p200-antibodies may occur in women with unaffected children, but levels are significantly higher in mothers of children with congenital heart block and are suggested as a relevant marker in evaluating the risk for foetal AV block.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Atrioventricular Block / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Finland
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins / immunology*
  • Heart Block / congenital*
  • Heart Block / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Ribonucleoproteins / chemistry*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden
  • United States


  • ARHGAP32 protein, human
  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • SS-A antigen