Clinical significance of anticentromere antibodies in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.J Rheumatol 2000; 27(6):1403-7JR
To clarify the clinical significance of anticentromere antibodies (ACA) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Two hundred sixteen patients with SLE who were treated in our department were surveyed cross sectionally for the presence of ACA using indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cell lines. ACA were identified by their discrete speckled pattern. Antibodies to the major centromere protein, CENP-B, were also studied with ELISA. Serial determinations of anti-CENP-B were carried out using stored serum samples, if available.
ACA were recognized in 12 (5.6%) patients with SLE. All patients were receiving steroid therapy, with a mean dose of prednisolone of 14.4 mg/day. These patients also tested positive for anti-CENP-B with high titers despite the low serological disease activity in most. Three or more CREST features were observed in 2 patients and 2 others had no such features. Both patients without CREST features had a relatively short disease duration. The age at onset of SLE was significantly higher and Raynaud's phenomenon was more frequent in patients with ACA than in patients without ACA. In 8 of 10 patients tested, retrospective analysis using stored sera revealed no consistent change in anti-CENP-B titers over time.
The presence of ACA in patients with SLE is apparently more frequent than previously believed. Patients with SLE with ACA may be a distinct subgroup. A longterm followup is warranted to fully determine the clinical significance of ACA in patients with SLE.