Clinical and pathological findings of interstitial lung disease patients with anti-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase autoantibodies

Intern Med. 2010;49(5):361-9. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.49.2889. Epub 2010 Mar 1.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the clinicopathological characteristics of interstitial lung disease (ILD) patients with anti-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (anti-ARS) autoantibodies. Patients and Methods We examined 14 ILD patients with anti-ARS autoantibodies between 2004 and 2007 and retrospectively investigated their clinical, radiographic, and pathological findings.

Results: Anti-Jo-1 antibodies were the most common (10 of 14), followed by anti-OJ, anti-KS, and anti-EJ (1 each for 3 patients); 1 patient with polymyositis had both anti-Jo-1 and anti-PL-12 antibodies. Ten patients had a chronic clinical course, whereas 4 presented with subacute deterioration. Of 8 patients with myositis, 1 (12.5%) had myositis-preceding ILD, 3 (37.5%) had ILD-preceding myositis, and 4 (50%) had simultaneous onset. Chest high-resolution computed tomography frequently showed lung-base predominant ground glass opacities (GGO) with volume loss. The results of surgical lung biopsies indicated that 4 patients had nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) and/or organizing pneumonia (OP) patterns. All but 1 received corticosteroid therapy, and 6 patients were also given cyclosporin. The mean duration of follow-up was 22 months (range, 5-47 months). ILD improved in 9 patients and stabilized in 3; however, in 1 patient, it initially improved during 6 months, then progressively worsened despite treatment, and finally resulted in death.

Conclusion: These results indicate that ILD patients with anti-ARS antibodies usually have a chronic clinical course, lung-base predominant GGO with volume loss, NSIP and/or OP patterns, and a good response to corticosteroid treatment; however, some have a rapidly worsening course and recurrence, despite therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amino Acyl-tRNA Synthetases / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / immunology*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Autoantibodies
  • Cyclosporine
  • Amino Acyl-tRNA Synthetases