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.