Acute respiratory distress syndrome: an undercover antisynthetase syndrome: a case report and a review of the literature

Clin Exp Rheumatol. May-Jun 2012;30(3):424-8. Epub 2012 Jun 26.


We present the case of a 48-year-old male with an acute respiratory distress syndrome which later proved to be an unexpected and initial manifestation of antisynthetase syndrome. Recognising this as a rare combination of an acute respiratory failure and a connective tissue disease in a previously asymptomatic subject is possible only by means of diagnostic exclusion. Based on similar case reports, the only way to reverse the disease and minimise the sequelae is to begin long-term immunosuppressive therapy as soon as possible once the diagnosis has been made. A review of similar cases with antibody anti-Jo-1 is presented with the aim of providing clinicians with useful indications for promptly recognising this poorly-defined and life-threatening emergency.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Dermatomyositis / diagnosis
  • Dermatomyositis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myositis / diagnosis*
  • Myositis / immunology*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Jo-1 antibody

Supplementary concepts

  • Antisynthetase syndrome