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To determine the relationship of myositis autoantibodies with the diagnosis and severity of idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM) using the 2017 EULAR/ACR idiopathic inflammatory myopathy classification criteria and the myositis disease activity assessment tool (MDAAT). Patients who met the new diagnostic criteria were tested for serum myositis-specific autoantibodies (MSAs) and myositis-associated autoantibodies (MAAs), and then classified into different subgroups based on autoantibody positivity. Patients were also diagnosed with possible IIM, probable IIM, and definite IIM. The MDAAT was used to evaluate muscular and extramuscular disease activity. The relationships of diagnostic classification with positivity for different myositis autoantibodies were determined. There were 118 patients, and 81% of them had one or more myositis autoantibody. Anti-Jo-1 was the most common MSA, and anti-Ro-52 was the most common MAA. Sixteen patients (14%) had possible IIM, 36 (31%) had probable IIM, and 66 (56%) had definite IIM. MSA-positive patients were significantly more common in the definite IIM group, but MAA positivity was unrelated to diagnostic classification. Positivity for MSAs or MAAs had no correlations with muscle disease activity. Extramuscular disease activity was greater in MSA-positive than MSA-negative patients, but MAA positivity had no significant association with extramuscular disease activity. MSA positivity aids in the diagnosis of IIM. MSA positivity was associated with greater extramuscular disease activity. Improving the clinical application of MSAs may enhance the individualized treatment of patients with IMM. Key Points • In this paper, we explore the relationships between the myositis autoantibodies and the diagnosis and the disease activity of inflammatory myopathy. • Positive myositis-specific autoantibodies is associated with the establishment of diagnosis and higher extramuscular disease activity. • Thus, more extensive application of myositis autoantibodies maybe the key for further disease assessment and research.


Ling Zhao, Kaisheng Su, Tao Liu, Dejun Sun, Zhenyu Jiang. Myositis-specific autoantibodies in adults with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy: correlations with diagnosis and disease activity. Clinical rheumatology. 2021 Mar;40(3):1009-1016

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PMID: 32676923

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