Objectives: Although antisynthetase antibodies (ARS) are the established markers of the so-called antisynthetase syndrome (ASSD), in these patients the concomitant positivity of anti-Ro52 antibodies, reported in up to the 50% of cases, is not rare. Several studies focused on the effect of different ARS specificities on the evolution of ASSD, the most recent showing no effects. On the contrary, the role of co-occurring anti-Ro52 antibodies in ASSD is still debated. We investigated the potential of anti-Ro52 antibodies in identifying a clinical phenotype of ASSD or influencing prognosis, irrespectively to the underlying ARS specificity.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of clinical, imaging and laboratory characteristics, therapeutic approaches and outcome at baseline and at last follow-up, of 60 ASSD patients progressively enrolled at our Hospital.
Results: We identified 34 anti-Ro+ and 26 anti-Ro- ASSD patients. Classic triad prevalence at baseline was similar between the two groups, whereas interstitial lung disease (ILD) (p value=0.01) and myositis (p value=0.03) were significantly more prevalent in anti-Ro52+ and in anti-Ro52- patients at last follow up, respectively. No differences in therapeutic approaches, oxygen need and ILD patterns were observed. Overall mortality was 25% (15 subjects). No differences in mortality, overall and disease related, between anti-Ro52+ and anti-Ro52- patients were observed (p value=0.764), despite the more frequent ILD occurrence in anti-Ro52+ patients. Survival curves were not different at any time point (Log-rank test, p value 0.98).
Conclusions: Anti-Ro52 antibodies affect time course and clinical characteristics of ASSD. Although ILD is significantly more associated to anti-Ro52 antibodies, no difference in mortality was observed compared to anti-Ro52 negative patients.