Objective: To investigate whether anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) bind to beta 2-glycoprotein I (beta 2GPI), and to search for a relationship between the presence of IgG and/or IgM anti-beta 2GPI antibody and clinical manifestations in SLE patients.
Methods: IgG and IgM anti-beta 2GPI in 308 Japanese SLE patients were measured using phospholipid-independent enzyme immunoassays. Relationships to clinical histories and to various laboratory data were examined.
Results: The values of anti-beta 2GPI and aCL, as measured by conventional enzyme immunoassay, showed a strong correlation, but the anti-beta 2GPI assay was more useful in distinguishing beta 2GPI-dependent aCL from beta 2GPI-independent aCL. The presence of IgG anti-beta 2GPI was associated with an increased frequency of a history of thrombosis. Comparisons of various laboratory data suggested that the titer of anti-beta 2GPI may fluctuate with disease activity.
Conclusion: The results suggest that pathogenic aCL is directed against structurally altered beta 2GPI and that enzyme immunoassay for anti-beta 2GPI may prove useful in evaluating the risk of thrombosis and monitoring the clinical course in patients with SLE.