Myositis-Associated Autoantibodies in Patients With Juvenile Myositis Are Associated With Refractory Disease and Mortality

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2024 Jan 25. doi: 10.1002/art.42813. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Myositis-associated autoantibodies (MAAs) have been associated with overlap myositis, certain disease manifestations such as interstitial lung disease (ILD), and worse prognosis in the idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. MAAs overall remain largely uncharacterized in patients with juvenile-onset myositis. Moreover, it is unknown whether the number of MAAs is associated with disease severity.

Methods: Patients with juvenile myositis in cross-sectional natural history studies who underwent testing for myositis autoantibodies were included. Demographics, myositis autoantibodies, clinical characteristics, medications received, and outcomes of those with and without MAAs were compared. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine whether the number of MAAs detected was associated with severe disease features.

Results: Among 551 patients, 36% had an MAA and 13% had more than one MAA. Among those who were MAA positive, there was a higher frequency of overlap myositis (18% vs 5.9%, P < 0.001). MAA positivity was associated with certain clinical features, including Raynaud phenomenon (odds ratio [OR] 2.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.41-4.28) and ILD (OR 3.43, 95% CI 1.75-6.96), as well as a chronic disease course (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.10-2.72) and mortality (OR 3.76, 95% CI 1.72-8.43). The number of MAAs was also associated with mortality (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.16-2.86).

Conclusion: MAAs were prevalent in a large cohort of patients with juvenile myositis. ILD, refractory disease, and mortality were associated with MAA positivity. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether early detection of MAAs may lead to improved outcomes for patients with juvenile myositis.