• Anti-C1q antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus.

      Orbai, A-M; Truedsson, L; Sturfelt, G; Nived, O; Fang, H; Alarcón, Gs; Gordon, C; Merrill, Jt; Fortin, Pr; Bruce, In; et al. (SAGE Publications, 2014-08-14)
      Anti-C1q has been associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis in previous studies. We studied anti-C1q specificity for SLE (vs rheumatic disease controls) and the association with SLE manifestations in an international multicenter study.
    • Autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus: comparison of historical and current assessment of seropositivity.

      Ippolito, A; Wallace, D J; Gladman, D; Fortin, P R; Urowitz, M; Werth, V; Costner, M; Gordon, C; Alarcón, G S; Ramsey-Goldman, R; et al. (Sage Publications, 2011-03)
      Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by multiple autoantibodies and complement activation. Recent studies have suggested that anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) positivity may disappear over time in some SLE patients. Anti-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibody titers and complement levels may vary with time and immunosuppressive treatment, while the behavior of anti-extractable nuclear antigen (ENA) over time is less well understood. This study sought to determine the correlation between historical autoantibody tests and current testing in patients with SLE. Three hundred and two SLE patients from the ACR Reclassification of SLE (AROSE) database with both historical and current laboratory data were selected for analysis. The historical laboratory data were compared with the current autoantibody tests done at the reference laboratory and tested for agreement using percent agreement and Kappa statistic. Serologic tests included ANA, anti-dsDNA, anti-Smith, anti-ribonucleoprotein (RNP), anti-Ro, anti-La, rheumatoid factor (RF), C3 and C4. Among those historically negative for immunologic markers, a current assessment of the markers by the reference laboratory generally yielded a low percentage of additional positives (3-13%). However, 6/11 (55%) of those historically negative for ANA were positive by the reference laboratory, and the reference laboratory test also identified 20% more patients with anti-RNP and 18% more with RF. Among those historically positive for immunologic markers, the reference laboratory results were generally positive on the same laboratory test (range 57% to 97%). However, among those with a history of low C3 or C4, the current reference laboratory results indicated low C3 or C4 a low percentage of the time (18% and 39%, respectively). ANA positivity remained positive over time, in contrast to previous studies. Anti-Ro, La, RNP, Smith and anti-dsDNA antibodies had substantial agreement over time, while complement had less agreement. This variation could partially be explained by variability of the historical assays, which were done by local laboratories over varying periods of time. Variation in the results for complement, however, is more likely to be explained by response to treatment. These findings deserve consideration in the context of diagnosis and enrolment in clinical trials.
    • Clinical manifestations and coronary artery disease risk factors at diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus: data from an international inception cohort

      Urowitz, M B; Gladman, D; Ibañez, D; Fortin, P; Sanchez-Guerrero, J; Bae, S; Clarke, A; Bernatsky, S; Gordon, C; Hanly, J; et al. (SAGE Publications, 2007)
      Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) comprises 27 centres from 11 countries. An inception cohort of 918 SLE patients has been assembled according to a standardized protocol between 2000 and 2006. Clinical features, classic coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors, as well as other potential risk factors were collected. Of the 918 patients 89% were females, and of multi racial origin. Less than half the patients were living in a permanent relationship, 58% had post secondary education and 51% were employed. Eight percent had family history of SLE. At enrolment, with at mean age of diagnosis of 34.5 years, a significant number of patients already had CAD risk factors, such as hypertension (33%) and hypercholesterolemia (36%). Only 15% of the patients were postmenopausal, 16% were current smokers and 3.6% had diabetes at entry to the SLICC-RAS (Registry for Atherosclerosis). A number of patients in this multi-racial, multi-ethnic inception cohort of lupus patients have classic CAD risk factors within a mean of 5.4 months from diagnosis. This cohort will be increased to 1500 patients to be followed yearly for 10 years. This will provide a unique opportunity to evaluate risk factors for accelerated atherosclerosis in SLE.
    • Good survival rates in systemic lupus erythematosus in southern Sweden, while the mortality rate remains increased compared with the population.

      Ingvarsson, R F; Landgren, A J; Bengtsson, A A; Jönsen, A; 1 Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Rheumatology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland. 3 Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. (SAGE Publications, 2019-10)
      OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the mortality rate and causes of death in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) within a defined region in southern Sweden during the time period 1981-2014 and determine whether these have changed over time. METHODS: In 1981, a prospective observation study of patients with SLE was initiated in southern Sweden. All incident SLE patients within a defined geographic area were identified using previously validated methods including diagnosis and immunology registers. Patients with a confirmed SLE diagnosis were then followed prospectively at the Department of Rheumatology in Lund. Clinical data was collected at regular visits. Patients were recruited from 1981 to 2006 and followed until 2014. The patient cohort was split into two groups based on the year of diagnosis to determine secular trends. Causes of death were retrieved from medical records and from the cause of death registry at The National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. RESULTS: In all, 175 patients were diagnosed with SLE during the study period. A total of 60 deaths occurred during a total of 3053 years of follow-up. In the first half of the study inclusion period 46 patients died, compared with 14 in the latter. The majority of patients (51.7%) died of cardiovascular disease. Infections caused 15% of the deaths and malignancy was the cause of death in 13.3% of patients. SLE was the main cause of death for 6.7% of the patients and a contributing factor for half of the patients. Standardized mortality ratio was increased in patients by a factor of 2.5 compared with the general population. Deaths occurred at an even rate throughout the whole observation period. No significant difference in standardized mortality ratio was observed between genders but was increased in older female patients. Furthermore, secular mortality trends were not identified. CONCLUSIONS: In this long-term epidemiologic follow-up study of incident SLE, we report a substantially raised mortality rate amongst SLE patients compared with the general population. The mortality rates have not changed significantly during the observation period that spanned three decades. The main cause of death was cardiovascular disease and this finding was consistent over time.
    • Increased T-lymphocyte apoptosis/necrosis and IL-10 producing cells in patients and their spouses in Icelandic systemic lupus erythematosus multicase families.

      Gröndal, G; Traustadottir, K H; Kristjansdottir, H; Lundberg, I; Klareskog, L; Erlendsson, K; Steinsson, K; Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Center for Rheumatology Research, Landspitalinn, Reykjavik, Iceland. gerdurgr@landspitali.is (SAGE Publications, 2002)
      The objective of this study was to evaluate apoptosis and production of IL-10 in SLE patients, their spouses and first-degree relatives in Icelandic SLE multicase families. Previously, increased IL-10 production has been found in all three groups. As IL-10 has been found to induce apoptosis in SLE, the percentage of lymphocytes undergoing apoptosis was evaluated, as well as the possible correlation between apoptosis and IL-10 production. Apoptosis and IL-10 production were studied in SLE patients (n = 12) from SLE multicase families and their spouses (n = 12) and a matched control group of healthy individuals (n = 10). The proportion of T and B lymphocytes undergoing apoptosis at 0, 24, 48 and 72 h was detected by flow cytometry using Annexin V and PI staining and the rate of apoptosis was calculated. IL-10 production was studied simultaneously by ELISpot analysis of freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In addition, T lymphocyte apoptosis at t = 0 was investigated in a group of non-household first-degree relatives (n = 10) and controls (n = 10). Antinuclear and antilymphocyte antibodies were analysed in all the groups. The SLE patients as a group had a significantly increased percentage of T lymphocytes in apoptosis at 0 and 48 h and a significantly higher number of IL-10 producing cells as compared with the healthy controls (P = 0.03, 0.02 and 0.03, respectively). The spouses also had significantly increased percentage of T lymphocytes in apoptosis (t = 0) and a significantly higher number of IL-10-producing cells when compared with healthy controls (P = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively). There were no significant differences between the patients and their spouses. For apoptosis of B lymphocytes no difference was found between the groups. The SLE patients as a group had the highest rate of apoptosis. No correlation between the degree and rate of apoptosis and the number of IL-10-producing cells was detected. The first-degree relatives did not have increased percentage of T lymphocytes undergoing apoptosis at t = 0 compared with healthy controls. The SLE patients had higher titres of ANA compared with the other groups. No correlation was detected between the ANA titre and the percentage of lymphocytes undergoing apoptosis. There was no correlation between disease activity as measured by SLEDAI and apoptosis. In conclusion, our results suggest that environmental factors common to both SLE patients and their spouses are associated both with the increased apoptosis and increased spontaneous production of IL-10, thus providing support for the notion that both environmental and genetic factors influencing apoptosis are of importance for the development of SLE.
    • The prevalence and determinants of anti-DFS70 autoantibodies in an international inception cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus patients.

      Choi, M Y; Clarke, A E; St Pierre, Y; Hanly, J G; Urowitz, M B; Romero-Diaz, J; Gordon, C; Bae, S-C; Bernatsky, S; Wallace, D J; et al. (SAGE Publications, 2017-09)
      Autoantibodies to dense fine speckles 70 (DFS70) are purported to rule out the diagnosis of SLE when they occur in the absence of other SLE-related autoantibodies. This study is the first to report the prevalence of anti-DFS70 in an early, multinational inception SLE cohort and examine demographic, clinical, and autoantibody associations. Patients were enrolled in the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) inception cohort within 15 months of diagnosis. The association between anti-DFS70 and multiple parameters in 1137 patients was assessed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression. The frequency of anti-DFS70 was 7.1% (95% CI: 5.7-8.8%), while only 1.1% (95% CI: 0.6-1.9%) were monospecific for anti-DFS70. In multivariate analysis, patients with musculoskeletal activity (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.24 [95% CI: 1.10, 1.41]) or with anti-β2 glycoprotein 1 (OR 2.17 [95% CI: 1.22, 3.87]) were more likely and patients with anti-dsDNA (OR 0.53 [95% CI: 0.31, 0.92]) or anti-SSB/La (OR 0.25 [95% CI: 0.08, 0.81]) were less likely to have anti-DFS70. In this study, the prevalence of anti-DFS70 was higher than the range previously published for adult SLE (7.1 versus 0-2.8%) and was associated with musculoskeletal activity and anti-β2 glycoprotein 1 autoantibodies. However, 'monospecific' anti-DFS70 autoantibodies were rare (1.1%) and therefore may be helpful to discriminate between ANA-positive healthy individuals and SLE.
    • Reciprocal changes in complement activity and immune-complex levels during plasma infusion in a C2-deficient SLE patient

      Erlendsson, K; Traustadottir, K; Freysdottir, J; Steinsson, K; Jonsdottir, I; Valdimarsson, H; Department of Immunology, Landspitali, National University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland. (SAGE Publications, 1993-06)
      Although systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is abnormally common in individuals with complement deficiency, conclusive evidence has been lacking for a direct causal relationship between disease manifestations and a missing complement component. A patient with C2 deficiency and SLE has been treated with 56 courses of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) infusions over a period of 8 years. Each infusion, involving a total of 12 units of FFP administered in equal doses over 4 consecutive days, has consistently resulted in a transient restoration of the classical pathway of complement, and a full clinical remission lasting 6-8 weeks. This report is concerned with changes in the levels of immune complexes, C2 and C3d during an infusion cycle. Four progressively rising peaks in C2 and C3d were observed during the 4 days of the plasma infusion, and these peaks coincided with four reciprocally descending troughs in the levels of immune complexes. Identical fluctuations have been consistent in all the plasma-infusion cycles that have so far been monitored, and their consistent association with clinical remissions indicates a causal relationship between the C2 restoration and clinical remissions in this C2-deficient SLE patient.
    • Risk of malignancy in an unselected cohort of Icelandic patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

      Ragnarsson, O; Gröndal, G; Steinsson, K (SAGE Publications, 2003)
      In the present literature there is still controversy as to whether patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are at increased risk of developing malignant diseases. In recent years a number of epidemiological studies have been conducted and some have suggested an association between SLE and malignant diseases while other studies have not. The objective of this study was to investigate this relationship in an unselected cohort of Icelandic patients with SLE. All patients diagnosed with SLE registered in the Icelandic SLE database were compared to the Icelandic cancer registry. For completeness, hospital charts and outpatient notes were also reviewed. The study period was from 1957 to the end of 2001. The O/E (observed/expected ratio), CI and P-value were calculated for total number of malignancies as well as individual malignancy types. Of 238 patients diagnosed with SLE (213 women and 25 men) 39 malignancies were diagnosed in 36 patients; 32 women and four men. Of the 36 patients, 27 were diagnosed subsequently with SLE and malignant disease. The mean age at diagnosis of SLE was 43.2 years (range 10-81) and at time of diagnosis of malignancy 62.7 years (range 43-86). The O/R for the whole study population was 1.38 (CI 0.89-1.87, P = 0.063), 1.45 for the women (CI 0.91-1.99, P = 0.051) and 1.03 for the men (CI 0.22-2.66, P = 0.560). The O/R for the most frequent malignancies diagnosed subsequently to SLE was 6.43 for squamous cell skin cancer (CI 1.31-18.5, P = 0.012), 5.48 for lymphoma (CI 0.64-19.6, P = 0.052), 2.46 for uterine cancer (CI 0.29-8.78, P = 0.196), 2.0 for ovarian cancer (CI 0.23-7.14, P = 0.264), 1.72 for lung cancer (CI 0.36-4.95, P = 0.254) and 1.6 for breast cancer (CI 0.65-3.23, P = 0.154). The total number of patient-years at risk was 2774 years. The results from this study on an unselected cohort of Icelandic SLE patients do not suggest an overall association between SLE and malignancy. Squamous cell skin cancer was the only individual cancer type that was statistically increased in the population and the numbers for lymphoma were borderline statistically significant.