Studies of Filipino patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: autoantibody profile of first-degree relatives

Lupus. 2011 Apr;20(5):537-43. doi: 10.1177/0961203310385164. Epub 2010 Dec 23.


This study surveyed the frequency of autoantibodies among un-affected first-degree relatives (FDRs) of Filipino systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients compared with healthy un-related Filipino controls. The sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of the autoantibodies for SLE diagnosis were also assessed in this Filipino cohort. Filipino patients included in the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Lupus Database and un-affected FDRs were recruited. Healthy controls included those with no known personal or family history of autoimmune disease. The following autoantibodies were tested in all subjects: anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), anti-dsDNA, anti-Ro/SSA, anti-chromatin, anti-thyroid microsome, and anti-cardiolipin antibodies. Participants included 232 SLE patients, 546 FDRs, and 221 healthy controls. Median age of patients was 27 (range 8-66) years with median disease duration of 27.5 (range 1-292) months. Median age of FDRs was 42.0 (range 5-87) years. Compared with healthy controls, there were significantly more FDRs with positive ANA at titers 1 : 40 to 1 : 160 (p < 0.001) and 1 : 320 (p = 0.003), anti-Ro/SSA (4.94% versus 0.45%, p = 0.003), and anti-dsDNA ≥ 5.0 IU/ml (4.58% versus 1.36%, p = 0.031). ANA titer ≥1 : 160, anti-dsDNA, anti-Ro/SSA and anti-chromatin had the highest predictive value for SLE diagnosis. These findings reinforce the role of genetic influence in SLE risk among Filipinos, with a significant proportion of un-affected FDRs of SLE patients testing positive for autoantibodies compared with healthy Filipino controls. A longitudinal observational study in this same cohort will determine which proportion of these un-affected FDRs will evolve into clinical SLE disease in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / genetics
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / epidemiology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Philippines / epidemiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Young Adult


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers