Organ-specific autoantibodies and autoimmune diseases in juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus and juvenile dermatomyositis patients

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2012 Jan-Feb;30(1):126-31. Epub 2012 Mar 7.


Objectives: To our knowledge, no study assessed simultaneously a variety of organ-specific autoantibodies and the prevalence of organ-specific autoimmune diseases in juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) and juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate organ-specific autoantibodies and autoimmune diseases in JSLE and JDM patients.

Methods: Forty-one JSLE and 41 JDM patients were investigated for autoantibodies associated with autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), autoimmune thyroiditis (AT), autoimmune gastritis and coeliac disease (CD). Patients with positive antibodies were investigated for the respective organ-specific autoimmune diseases.

Results: Mean age at diagnosis was higher in JSLE compared to JDM patients (10.3±3.4 vs. 7.3±3.1years, p=0.0001). The frequencies of organ-specific autoantibodies were similar in JSLE and JDM patients (p>0.05). Of note, a high prevalence of T1DM and AT autoantibodies was observed in both groups (20% vs. 15%, p=0.77 and 24% vs. 15%, p=0.41; respectively). Higher frequencies of ANA (93% vs. 59%, p=0.0006), anti-dsDNA (61% vs. 2%, p<0.0001), anti-Ro, anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-La and IgG-aCL were observed in JSLE (p<0.05). Organ-specific autoimmune diseases were evidenced only in JSLE patients (24% vs. 0%, p=0.13). Two JSLE patients had T1DM associated with Hashimoto thyroiditis and another had subclinical thyroiditis. Another JSLE patient had CD diagnosis based on iron deficiency anaemia, anti-endomysial antibody, duodenal biopsy compatible to CD and response to a gluten-free diet.

Conclusions: Organ-specific diseases were observed solely in JSLE patients and required specific therapy. The presence of these antibodies recommends the evaluation of organ-specific diseases and a rigorous follow-up.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatomyositis / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Male


  • Autoantibodies