Distinct dermatomyositis populations are detected with different autoantibody assay platforms

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Nov-Dec 2019;37(6):1048-1051. Epub 2019 Jul 19.
  • PMID: 31376258
  • PMCID: PMC7039699 (available on )


Objectives: To compare autoantibody-defined dermatomyositis sub-populations using immunoprecipitation-based assays, a commercially available line immunoblot assay and alternate commercial ELISA assays.

Methods: Banked plasma from 261 carefully phenotyped dermatomyositis patients was studied. Immunoprecipitation-based assays were used to detect antibodies against Mi2, TIF1-γ MDA5, NXP2, SAE1 and PM-Scl, while anti-Jo1 antibodies were assayed using ELISA. These data were compared with that obtained using a commercial line immunoblot, and, additionally, for Mi2, TIF1-γ, MDA5, commercially available ELISA kits. Test agreement was measured using Cohen's kappa statistic, and phenotypic differences between differentially identified groups are described.

Results: Line immunoblot, immunoprecipitation, and ELISA detected increasingly larger nested pools of anti-TIF1-γ samples, with increasing frequency of concurrent anti-Mi2 reactivity and decreasing incidence of malignancy. Line immunoblot and immunoprecipitation showed fair concordance for identifying anti-NXP2 antibodies (Cohen's kappa=0.71) but very good agreement for identifying antibodies against Mi2, MDA5, and SAE1 (Cohen's κ=0.9, 0.94, 0.88, respectively). Anti-PM-Scl results showed moderate agreement (Cohen's κ=0.48) between immunoblot and immunoprecipitation.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that for some specificities, especially anti-TIF1-γ, antibody results obtained using different assay platforms vary, and identify significantly different patient populations. These findings highlight the need for standard adoption of carefully validated platforms to detect dermatomyositis autoantibodies.

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Dermatomyositis* / diagnosis
  • Dermatomyositis* / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoprecipitation


  • Autoantibodies